The Taliban has agreed to refuse refuge to terrorist teams as a situation of the U.S. navy withdrawal, which the Trump administration brokered in February 2020. However it’s widely believed that Al Qaeda’s most senior chief, Ayman al-Zawahri, resides in Afghanistan, and high C.I.A. officers, together with William J. Burns, the company’s director, have acknowledged that their skill to assemble info on terrorist exercise there’s now diminished.
Forward of Mr. Blinken’s testimony, the Biden administration’s high intelligence official mentioned Afghanistan was not probably the most urgent terrorism risk for the USA, even after the Taliban’s takeover. Avril D. Haines, the director of nationwide intelligence, mentioned the withdrawal of American troops and the collapse of the U.S.-backed authorities have created challenges for gathering intelligence within the nation.
However, she mentioned, “when it comes to the homeland, the risk proper now from terrorist teams, we don’t prioritize on the high of the record Afghanistan.”
Perceive the Taliban Takeover in Afghanistan
Who’re the Taliban? The Taliban arose in 1994 amid the turmoil that got here after the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989. They used brutal public punishments, together with floggings, amputations and mass executions, to implement their guidelines. Right here’s extra on their origin story and their record as rulers.
Her feedback underscored a tenet of Mr. Biden’s choice to go away: that the enduring battle in Afghanistan had develop into a distraction from extra speedy threats to the USA, like China, Russia, local weather change and the coronavirus.
On condition that technique, the general choice to withdraw from Afghanistan “made good sense,” mentioned James F. Jeffrey, a former ambassador who labored intently with Mr. Blinken and different senior officers in the course of the Obama administration and is now chair of the Center East Program on the Wilson Heart, a assume tank in Washington.
However, Mr. Jeffrey mentioned, “the preparations for this factor, and the failure of creativeness on how briskly it might occur and the way full the collapse — that’s an issue that you need to level to the administration on.”
The diplomatic effort that Mr. Blinken vowed would proceed largely focuses on pressuring the Taliban to make sure protected passage for individuals who wish to go away Afghanistan, and to guard Afghan girls and women who had been denied educations and jobs, and in worst circumstances, brutalized, when the Taliban final dominated, from l996 to 2001. On Monday, he acknowledged that the Taliban had fallen “very wanting the mark” in making a authorities that features girls or ethnic minorities, as many nations have demanded.