Sep 10, 2021
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“The United States has no control mechanisms left”: what is behind the words of the head of the State Department about a unified international approach to Afghanistan

The United States calls on the world community to develop a unified approach to the situation in Afghanistan and the new government formed by the Taliban *. This statement was made by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken. Earlier, the Taliban announced the creation of an interim government, which included only high-ranking members of the radical movement. Many countries have stated that they are in no hurry to recognize the new regime and intend to wait for its real steps. Experts note that Washington has no levers of control over the situation in Afghanistan, and the state of affairs in the region must be resolved with the participation of other major players, including Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran.

The head of the US Department of State Anthony Blinken, during a virtual meeting of international representatives on Afghanistan, called on the world community for a unified approach to the new ruling Taliban regime and the situation in the country.

“Secretary Blinken called for unity to mitigate a potential humanitarian crisis, hold the Taliban accountable in the fight against terrorism, provide a safe passageway for foreign citizens and Afghans to leave the country, and form an inclusive government that respects fundamental human rights. The meeting participants agreed that it is important to maintain unity in order to provide long-term support to the people of Afghanistan, ”says a statement released by State Department Press Secretary Ned Price.

It is noted that the meeting was attended by representatives of the USA, Germany, Australia, Bahrain, Great Britain, France, Canada, Italy, Spain, Turkey, India, Japan, Kuwait, Norway, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, South Korea, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan, as well as the European Union, NATO and the UN.

Price also stressed that Washington “will continue to use economic, diplomatic and political tools to support the rights of the Afghan population, especially women and girls, and to ensure that the country does not become a safe haven for terrorists.”

Blinken himself in his opening remarks before the meeting said that the new ruling regime in Afghanistan in the future can be recognized by the international community if a number of conditions are met.

“The Taliban can gradually earn this legitimacy over time through consistent action that demonstrates a sincere commitment to the core expectations set out in the 30 August UN Security Council resolution, including freedom of movement, no terrorist shelter in Afghanistan, humanitarian access , respecting the fundamental rights of the Afghan people – especially women and minorities – abandoning repressive measures and forming an inclusive government that can meet the needs and aspirations of the Afghan population, ”said the US Secretary of State.

  • US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken
  • © Olivier Dulieri / AP Photo

The head of the State Department added that the United States will continue to “closely monitor the actions of the Taliban, in particular with regard to respect for the right to freedom of assembly and peaceful protest.”

In turn, the head of the Pentagon, Lloyd Austin, during a conversation with the press in Kuwait, said that after the withdrawal of the American military from Afghanistan, Al-Qaeda could again strengthen in this country **. Austin stressed that the United States is ready to prevent the buildup of the forces of this terrorist group in Afghanistan, without explaining how the American side intends to do this.

Recall that the need to destroy al-Qaeda was one of the formal reasons why the United States initiated the military intervention in Afghanistan in 2001.

Establishing a regime

Against this backdrop, the Taliban issued an official statement urging the United States and the UN to exclude members of the new Afghan government from the blacklists. The Taliban argue that this is contrary to the agreements reached at the Doha talks.

“The Emirate condemns in the strongest terms such provocative statements and attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of Afghanistan by America and other countries. Such statements by US officials are a repetition of past failed experiments and are detrimental to America. We urge to immediately reconsider this wrong policy through diplomatic contacts, ”TASS quotes the statement of the official representative of the movement Zabihullah Mujahid.

The Taliban announced the formation of an interim government on 7 September. It was headed by Mohammad Hasan Akhund, Mullah Amir Khan Muttaki became the head of the Foreign Ministry. For the position of acting the Minister of Defense and a number of other relevant ministries were appointed religious leaders of the movement.

Despite the calls of the international community for the creation of an inclusive cabinet, it did not become so – only high-ranking members of the Taliban entered it. Khaybatullah Akhundzada has become the country’s supreme leader, leading the movement since 2016 after the death of its previous leader as a result of an American drone strike.

After the announcement of the composition of the new Taliban government, Russia and the United States announced that they had not yet made decisions on its recognition. The French authorities said they would not recognize him if representatives of other Afghan political forces were not included in the cabinet of ministers. A similar position was voiced by Turkey, calling for the formation of an inclusive government. And the British Foreign Office said they did not intend to recognize the Taliban regime in the foreseeable future.

First Deputy Head of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Vladimir Dzhabarov, commenting on the composition of the interim Cabinet of Ministers of Afghanistan, previously told Interfax: “Automatic recognition of the new government is hardly possible. It must show in practice how ready it is to defend freedom, to carry out the civilized development of the country. “

He added that for the possible exclusion of the Taliban from the list of UN terrorist organizations, coordination within the framework of the Security Council of an international organization is needed.

American fiasco

Recall that the Taliban seized power in Afghanistan against the backdrop of the withdrawal of Western military contingents from the country. The hasty curtailment of the American military presence provoked the activation of the Taliban, who launched an offensive against the positions of government forces.

As a result, within a few weeks, Taliban militants captured most of the important settlements and administrative centers, after which on August 15 they entered Kabul without a fight and announced the establishment of control over the entire country.

The actions of the administration of US President Joe Biden (for example, the hasty retreat from the Bagram airbase before the evacuation began), which led to the fall of the pro-American government of Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation from the Kabul airport, were criticized both in the United States itself and from the international community. At the same time, Joe Biden rejected criticism of Washington’s actions and called the withdrawal of US troops and the evacuation of allies from Afghanistan a successful mission.

Konstantin Blokhin, a leading researcher at the Center for Security Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, in a conversation with RT, noted that the latest statements by Anthony Blinken are an attempt by Washington to at least partially preserve its reputation in an openly losing situation.

“The main task of the United States is to save face before the world community, to demonstrate that American politicians did not abandon Afghanistan and that they did not withdraw their military contingent out of purely selfish interests. And also to show that they are a responsible player who is interested in the stability of Kabul and the region as a whole and, if necessary, is ready to provide some assistance, ”the expert explained.

At the same time, he believes that it is unlikely that Washington will now try to really influence the Taliban.

“Moreover, for American politicians, Afghanistan is a black hole in which no matter how much you invest, you lose more than you gain. In fact, the real players will be Pakistan from the point of view of military-political influence and China from the economic point of view, ”the political scientist emphasized.

  • Taliban fighter in Kabul
  • © AP Photo / Wali Sabawaoon

The interlocutor of RT added that now the Taliban does not pose a particular threat to the world community, but this is not a reason to let the situation in Afghanistan take its course.

“This situation can change, because Afghanistan is an extremely fertile ground for various terrorist organizations. For example, the Taliban itself can transform into a more radical organization, all the more so for this there is everything you need, in particular, the United States left them weapons worth more than $ 80 billion, or other groups may become stronger, “Blokhin explained.

In turn, Nikita Danyuk, deputy director of the RUDN Institute for Strategic Studies and Forecasts, a member of the Public Chamber of Russia, stressed in a conversation with RT that Blinken’s statements speak of the US helplessness in the current situation.

“This kind of statement suggests that the United States has no mechanisms to control the situation in Afghanistan. Moreover, regional actors such as Russia, China and Iran are gaining more and more influence. Based on this, the United States will try to do so in order to form a “common approach” that would express their interests. But in fact, Washington will not be able to influence the situation with terrorism and women’s rights in Kabul, ”the political scientist said.

Moreover, now the new Afghan regime does not need to heed the admonitions from Washington about the need to respect human rights and “democratic values,” Daniuk added.

“In general, the Taliban now have not a single reason to listen to the United States … The problem of Afghanistan will be resolved with the participation of international players, in particular Russia, China and Pakistan,” the expert concluded.

* “Taliban” – the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation of February 14, 2003.

** “Al-Qaeda” – the organization was recognized as terrorist by the decision of the Supreme Court of the Russian Federation dated 02.14.2003.

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