South Asia and Beyond

“Biden Knows Taliban, Al Qaeda Safe Havens Should Be Shut Down, Committed To Strong, Residual Force in Afghanistan”

NEW DELHI: The Trump administration announcing U.S. troop cut in Afghanistan to 2,500 by January 15, 2021 was “expected” and ” Afghan security forces have been preparing, carrying out more than 95 per cent of all counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics operations, since 2014,” says M. Ashraf Haidari, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to Sri Lanka. President-elect Joe Biden and his advisors know the Af-Pak “region well” and are “committed to staying the course with a strong, residual force to fight against the Taliban, Al Qaeda and ISIS,” he told StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi, adding the new administration knows “peace efforts can’t succeed” unless “safe sanctuaries and safe havens that support and sponsor them are closed down.” The envoy, who was also deputy ambassador in India and America, pointed out that key officials like Michèle Flournoy, who is reportedly in line for the Secretary of Defense post, “stand for a responsible, conditions-based withdrawal.” Despite President Trump’s withdrawal decision, there is bipartisan U.S. support too, he said, pointing to reactions from key Republicans like Lindsey Graham and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell.

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Why is the U.S. not holding the Taliban to its written declarations? How will the Biden presidency deal with the region? Is the Republic’s negotiating team divided in the face of a unified Taliban stance, and what can Afghanistan learn from Sri Lanka winning the war against the LTTE? Listen in.

Amitabh P. Revi

Russian language speaker and conflict journalist. Amitabh Revi has been there, done that—from the battlefields of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan to sublime Russia, Australia and the United States. Along the way he's picked up the Dag Hammarskjöld Distinguished Journalist Fellowship, the Ramnath Goenka award for coverage of the Iraq War and RT's Khaled Alkhateb Award for his reporting from Palmyra, Syria.