Biden Administration ‘Must Act Swiftly’ to Change Course in Afghanistan, Former US Diplomats Say

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The Epoch Times

Afghanistan is in a state of chaos. In a major military offensive, the Taliban has taken over nine provincial capitals, with two falling to the militia on the night of Aug. 10.

As the militant group ignores peace negotiations and as its killings of civilians, prisoners, and government leaders increase, a cry for a change in U.S. policy is growing louder.

“Given the Taliban’s behavior lately, U.S. President Joe Biden’s decision to rapidly withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan appears increasingly questionable,” five former U.S. diplomats to Afghanistan (James Cunningham, Hugo Llorens, Ronald Neumann, Richard Olson, and Earl Anthony Wayne) wrote in an analysis published by the Atlantic Council on Aug. 6.

Whether the Afghan resistance to the Taliban wins, the outcome will be of catastrophic proportions, and the United States should continue limited engagement and prevent total state collapse and chaos, the five former diplomats say.

“Abandoning courageous people as they attempt to fight back could leave millions of Afghans vulnerable to Taliban repression. That’s why we recommend a course correction involving redoubled efforts to support the Afghan security forces—particularly through airpower, which is immediately critical—as well as the vigorous implementation of U.S. promises of continued security, economic, humanitarian, and diplomatic support,” they said, urging that the U.S. government “must act swiftly and resolutely in Afghanistan and in mustering global support.”

Rajiv Dogra, a former Indian diplomat and the author of “Durand’s Curse,” a best-selling and critically acclaimed book about the division of Afghanistan by the British empire, told the Epoch Times over the phone that no situation in the world is so bad that it can’t be turned around. But the principal thing is having the political will.

“America, for the past two years, has announced from rooftops that it’s withdrawing and it is leaving the Afghans to their destiny. This is a wrong approach, a wrong policy, and a wrong strategy,” Dogra said, asserting that this is a defeatist attitude that can still be changed. “But the change must start from the top.”

By Venus Upadhayaya

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