By – Elijah J. Magnier:
“The Taliban won the war, and we will have to talk to them,” said Joseph Borrell, the European Union’s foreign affairs coordinator, initiating the first cautious but positive European stance towards the Taliban movement. The Taliban is now the ruler in Afghanistan and is forming the new government after controlling almost 33 out of the 34 Afghani provinces. The EU official acknowledgment is in harmony with the Taliban’s spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid – who recently appeared in a press conference after twenty years in hiding. Zabihullah asserted in his multi-directional messages that “Afghanistan will not be a threat against any country. » In sending such a positive message, the Taliban movement is indicating that the old Taliban – which wanted to establish an international Islamic state – had changed and now aims to build an ‘Islamic Emirate’ on the model of other Islamic countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran, et al) without necessarily being submitted to the West’s demands and frameworks.
In an attempt to console itself, NATO and its 30 countries justify that the purpose of invading Afghanistan – with unlimited resources – was to achieve two goals: to defeat al-Qaeda responsible for the 9/11 attack and build a modern Afghanistan. Western countries claim that the first goal has been completed, while the second goal has failed.
However, this statement is far from being accurate. It is true that, during his first public press conference, Zabihullah Mujahid affirmed that the Taliban “will not allow any group to target any other regional or international countries.” However, he did not mention the presence of Al-Qaeda with the Taliban, shoulder to shoulder, in its fight against NATO forces over the past twenty years. In addition, the Taliban have released thousands of Al-Qaeda detainees from Afghan prisons in the past months, the latest of which is Pul-e-Charki prison in Bagram, a base on the borders of the capital, Kabul.
This indicates the failure of twenty years of war waged by NATO to eliminate al-Qaeda fighting alongside the Taliban. However, the importance of the presence of NATO in Afghanistan was not limited to containing al-Qaeda. Afghanistan offered a highly significant geopolitical position since it borders Russia, Iran, and China (and Pakistan, of course).
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