PRAGUE, Author and academic Barnett Rubin, a former senior adviser to the U.S. special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, is still hopeful that Afghan elite consensus, international support, and regional cooperation will prevent the ship from sinking in Afghanistan amid escalating Taliban violence.
Said Sabir Ibrahimi, Research Associate, appeared on Voice of America Dari to discuss the US elections and its implications on Afghanistan.
Q: Do you think it is concerning that the US presidential candidates have not mentioned Afghanistan in their speeches?
A: Donald Trump has been vague about his programs, and both him and Hillary Clinton have not mentioned Afghanistan in their big foreign policy speeches, but in their interviews with American media, they both have mentioned Afghanistan.
President Obama has announced that the U.S, will maintain 8,400 troops in Afghanistan until the end of his term. The international military presence does not only affect the balance of forces between the government and the Taliban insurgency based in Pakistan.
Few if any Taliban leaders say they want to re-establish the Islamic Emirate or revive the policies that drew the world’s opprobrium upon them when they controlled the Afghan state in the 1990s.That is the conclusion drawn in this report by Borhan Osman of the Afghanistan Analysts Network and Anand Gopal, author of No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes from interviews with members of the Taliban’s political wing and analysis of the movement’s official publications.
During German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit to China, the two countries agreed to jointly fund a disaster response centre in Afghanistan. It was just the latest sign of China’s increasingly prominent role in that country, which also includes trying to jump-start peace talks with the Taliban.
At a press conference in Hanoi on May 23, President Obama announced that he would lift the decades-old arms embargo on Vietnam, which he called “a lingering vestige of the Cold War.” He also confirmed that, two days earlier, a missile launched from a U.S. Special Operations Forces drone had killed the Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansur in a taxi about a hundred miles southwest of Quetta, the capital of the Pakistani province of Balochistan. (The strike also killed the driver, Muhammad Azam, whose family the U.S.