Friday 20 August 2021
Taliban took power
Ischinger: Trump is responsible for the “fall of man”
With their hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, NATO countries lured the Taliban into the offensive. Extremist Islamists are retaking large parts of the country much earlier than expected. Anarchy spreads. According to Wolfgang Ischinger, this fear began in 2018.
Former US President Donald Trump is largely responsible for the situation in Afghanistan, according to the head of the Munich Security Conference, Wolfgang Ischinger. “The fall of man happened long before (US President) Joe Biden took office,” said the former ambassador to Deutschlandfunk. “The Fall of Man was the agreement that was signed with the Taliban under Donald Trump.” Then the militant Islamists will only have to wait for American troops to leave. Ischinger said that negotiating with the Taliban from a position of weakness is not something that happens even to one’s enemy. “There was nothing left to save.”
Looking at the current situation, he said: “It is a debacle, it cannot be eliminated.” Of course, Biden envisioned a different ending as well – even though it was clear to him that the return would not happen in a bureaucratic way. “They knew in the White House that it could be dirty and awful and even with obnoxious pictures.”
Ischinger stressed that the blame for the current situation is not solely on the Afghan army, whose armed forces quickly surrendered. Rather, NATO’s low military presence, even with a few thousand soldiers, could have prevented this “poor debacle”.
“It’s Sausage We Can Catch”
In his opinion, the West should speak to the Taliban in one voice and set clear conditions for any kind of cooperation. For this coordination with other countries is necessary. “Our Chinese allies, the Russians and Indians, are not as interested in the rise of a radical Islamic caliphate in Kabul as we are.” The aid can be used to put pressure on the Taliban. Afghanistan in itself is hardly viable. It is always on donations from the West. “That’s the sausage we can catch.”
In 2018, the first direct talks between the administration of the then US President Trump and the Taliban began in Doha, Qatar. Negotiations culminated in an agreement on February 29, 2020, setting a timetable for the withdrawal of US troops. The withdrawal was delayed in the meantime, but then began in May under the leadership of Trump’s successor, Biden. At the same time as the United States, other NATO troops withdrew from Afghanistan, including the Bundeswehr.
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