The American peace agreement negotiated directly with the Taliban, bypassing the legitimate Afghan government, and the announcement of the complete withdrawal of the troops “set in motion a snowball which then became an avalanche that engulfed everything”. To tell the Adnkronos is Roberto Marrone, Head of the Defense Program of the Iai, according to which the United States could have avoided the current debacle by continuing to maintain a limited military presence in the country, as it does in other parts of the world considered strategic. On the other hand, the Afghans felt abandoned by the retreat and many ended up “jumping on the winner’s bandwagon”. Former CIA chief Leon Panetta told Corriere della Sera today that Islambad has played a role in recent Afghan events. But according to Marrone, the role of Pakistan in recent months should not be “overestimated”. “Because, Pakistan or not Pakistan, it is a fact that last year the United States negotiated the withdrawal of American forces directly with the Taliban. So they gave the signal to the Afghans, to all parts of society, that they recognized the Taliban. as interlocutors, bypassing the legitimate Afghan government. And, by committing themselves to leave completely, whatever the cost, they left the field open “. “The speed and modalities of the collapse of the Afghan institutions is an ugly political responsibility, each of the various actors of the American establishment – Pentagon, CIA, White House – tries to exonerate itself in the eyes of internal public opinion. But in the end, political responsibility. it is always and in any case the president’s “, says Marrone, when asked if there have been any errors in the predictions of American intelligence.” The responsibility lies with the decision to retire, taken by Trump and followed by Biden ‘”I don’t know exactly how serious and how timely were the warnings from the CIA or the Pentagon addressed to Biden, but I am convinced that, even if they were serious and timely, the White House would not have considered the possibility of delaying the withdrawal, it was not in question “. “Probably – continues the analyst – it was difficult to predict this speed of the Taliban advance, but many already predicted that within months or years the Afghan state would fall if not adequately supported from the outside”. And therefore the responsibility is not so much of the intelligence, as of the “political decision to withdraw, taken by Trump and followed by Biden, in this case in total harmony”. According to Marrone, the United States could also have chosen to stay. “The situation in Afghanistan – he recalls – has passed from a phase of combat by Western forces, with many deaths, which lasted until 2014. In the next phase, which lasted seven years, the Afghan state basically held up with only between 12 and 15,000 NATO soldiers, including 6 to 7,000 American soldiers “. “Until four months ago – underlines the analyst – the districts controlled by the Taliban could be counted on the fingers of one hand, they did not control the provinces, nor the big cities”. When there were NATO soldiers, Afghan forces believed it was worth fighting the Taliban “So a modest military presence was possible as an alternative, as it has been for seven years,” says Marrone. There would certainly have been “an economic cost, but it would have prevented that snowball that has become an avalanche from leaving, carrying out, as it had hitherto, a deterrent function”. That deterrence, he still reasons, “which made the Afghan forces believe until recently that it was worth fighting the Taliban because they somehow had their backs covered. don’t be crushed. ”That was the situation President Barack Obama had left at the end of his two terms. Of course “it is legitimate” to decide to withdraw, even in the face of “an American electorate tired of this war”. But the United States, notes Marrone, has kept troops in many places in the world, in South Korea, in Europe, because they consider it of strategic interest. “After twenty years, withdrawing completely – concludes Marrone – means doing it to the detriment of that population, large and majority, who believed in an alternative to the Taliban. That population that in small part is fleeing and in large part will remain in Afghanistan” .
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