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The Taliban has asked President Donald Trump to withdraw US forces from the “quagmire” of Afghanistan, saying that nothing has been achieved in 15 years of war except bloodshed and destruction.

“So, the responsibility to bring to an end this war also rests on your shoulders,” Taliban said.

In an open letter to the new US president published on one of its official web pages, confirmed by SITE Intelligence Group on January 23, the insurgent movement said the United States had lost credibility after spending a trillion dollars on a unproductive war.

“So, the responsibility to bring to an end this war also rests on your shoulders,” it said.

So far, the Trump administration has said had little about Afghanistan, where some 8,400 US troops remain as part of the NATO-led coalition’s training mission to support local forces as well as a separate US counter-terrorism mission. But has in general promised ‘we are always happy when old enemies become friends, and when old friends become allies.’

Afghanistan, which the US invaded on October 7, 2001 in a bid to topple Al-Qaeda and Osama bin laden that were at the time hosted by the Taliban. For the United States this has become its longest military intervention since Vietnam. Costing them more than $100 billion.

we are always happy when old enemies become friends, and when old friends become allies. President Trump

Two of Trump’s top security appointments – retired Marine Corps General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense and former General Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser – both have extensive experience in Afghanistan.

read more: Will Trump’s Cabinet be anti-Pakistan? Michael Kugelman

The Taliban, however, warned Trump against relying on the kind of “unrealistic” reports presented to former presidents by their generals.

“They would emphasize continuation of war and occupation of Afghanistan because they can have better positions and privileges in war,” the Taliban statement read.

It accused Washington of imposing a “surrogate administration” on Afghanistan in the face of popular Muslim resistance. This has been the accusation faced by Hamid Karzai who was brought in as Afghanistan’s President in 2001 after the Bonn agreement, and Ashraf Ghani, the ex-World Banker, who is leading the national unity government after Kerry’s intervention in 2014.

“You have to realise that the Afghan Muslim nation has risen up against foreign occupation,” it said.

The Taliban has made steady gains against the Western-backed government in Kabul since coalition forces ended their mission in 2014, and the USA reduced its forces. Government forces are now in control of less than two thirds of the country.

The Taliban has repeatedly urged the United States and its allies to leave Afghanistan, ruling out peace talks with the Kabul government while foreign forces remain on Afghan soil. This one pre-conditions for sitting down for the peace talks with the government.

Pakistan’s General Qamar is also due to go to Afghanistan and meet Pesident Ashraf Ghani but sources state he is waiting to hear what Trump’s policy on Afghanistan will be before going.

read more: Pakistan 2016: Sandwiched between hostile India & Afghanistan; Will 2017 be any different?

Trump during his campaign trail has criticised past US administrations for their handling of conflicts in the Muslim world, but he in his inauguration speech has also pledged to eradicate ‘radical Islamists from the earth’.

Michael Kugelman is the senior associate for South and Southeast Asia at the Woodrow Wilson Center, where he is responsible for research, programming, and publications on the region. His main specialty is Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan and U.S. relations with each of them. Mr. Kugelman writes monthly columns for Foreign Policy’s South Asia Channel and monthly commentaries for War on the Rocks. He also contributes regular pieces to the Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank blog. He has published op-eds and commentaries in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Politico, CNN.com, Bloomberg View, The Diplomat, Al Jazeera, and The National Interest, among others. He has been interviewed by numerous major media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, National Geographic, BBC, CNN, NPR, and Voice of America. He has also produced a number of longer publications on South Asia, including the edited volumes Pakistan’s Interminable Energy Crisis: Is There Any Way Out? (Wilson Center, 2015), Pakistan’s Runaway Urbanization: What Can Be Done? (Wilson Center, 2014), and India’s Contemporary Security Challenges (Wilson Center, 2013). He has published policy briefs, journal articles, and book chapters on issues ranging from Pakistani youth and social media to India’s energy security strategy and transboundary water management in South Asia.

1 COMMENT

  1. Actually the letter is written in polite form by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid, is fair and to the point. If Trump has any sense he will take this opportunity to leave, saving many lives and dollars. Trillions have already wasted on corrupt authorities in an illegal war!

    He states,

    “The Afghans, as a nation ravaged by war for thirty eight long years, sincerely want to bring this war to an end however they know – despite whatever reasons for previous wars – that the principle cause for the ongoing conflict is the presence of foreign occupying forces in our independent country. To bring an end to this war feeding on the blood of your and our people, you must further understand the geography and nature of this war through the following clarifications…… ”

    He then goes on to list several points

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