US President Joe Biden has decided that all American troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by September 11 this year, exactly two decades after the 9/11 attack on the twin trade towers in New York, the White House said on Tuesday.
The Pentagon will end the country's longest war with just one signed order, but will it change the destiny of the war-ravaged nation or will the Biden move further push them towards instability and extremism? Going by the aggression shown by Taliban, it seems the country might be heading for another phase of Taliban dominance in absence of the US support.
A new US intelligence report, released on Tuesday, assessed that a peace deal was unlikely in the next year and that the Taliban would make battlefield gains.
“The Afghan government will struggle to hold the Taliban at bay if the coalition withdraws support,” the report said.
Just hours after the reports of the US troop withdrawal were out, the Taliban said that they will not attend a summit on Afghanistan's future in Turkey this month until all foreign forces leave their country.
Would the US drawdown from Afghanistan lead to a civil war or the return of terror groups - Al Qaeda and ISIS?
The intelligence report, however, did not say anything about the return of Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, but experts believe that money-seeking Taliban, just as they did in 2001, could allow Al Qaeda to regroup in the war-torn fund-hungry nation.
ISIS, which has been decimated in Iraq, could also expand its footprints in the country, which has been at war for the last 40 years. The deep pockets of the ISIS group could repeat what terrorist Osama Bin Laden did to the then Taliban chief Mullah Omar - Shelter for money.
Joe Biden's early plans were to keep a residual force to strike at Al-Qaeda or an emergent Islamic State extremist threat or making a withdrawal contingent on progress on the ground or in slow-moving peace talks. He, however, decided to go for a complete withdrawal other than limited US personnel to guard the US installations including the imposing embassy in Kabul, AFP reported, quoting a senior White House official.
The Biden official, however, warned the Taliban -- who are as of now observing a peace deal with the US but not with Afghan forces -- not to strike at the coalition forces as the Big Daddy, the US, exits the country or else "we will hit back hard."