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Plan to Retreate from Sparsely Populated Areas, Will Kabul have Legitimacy again

According to reports, the Trump administration is urging American-backed Afghan troops to retreat from sparsely populated areas of the country.

According to reports, the Trump administration is urging American-backed Afghan troops to retreat from sparsely populated areas of the country.
New York Times quoted from three US officials as saying that tt is meant to protect military forces from attacks at isolated and vulnerable outposts, and focuses on protecting cities such as Kabul, the capital, and other population centers.
According to the report, the plan will effectively ensure that the Taliban and other insurgent groups will hold on to territory that they have already seized, leaving the government in Kabul to safeguard the capital and cities such as Kandahar, Kunduz, Mazar-i-Sharif and Jalalabad.
The retreat to the cities is a searing acknowledgment that the American-installed government in Afghanistan remains unable to lead and protect the country’s sprawling rural population, the report said.
The strategy depends on the Afghan government’s willingness to pull back its own forces. A US Defense Department official said some Afghan commanders have resisted the American effort to do so, fearing local populations would feel betrayed.
“Abandoning people into a situation where there is no respect for them is a violation of human rights,” said Mohammad Karim Attal, a member of the Helmand Provincial Council. “This might be the weakest point of the government that does not provide security and access to their people’s problems.”
Of Afghanistan’s 407 districts, the government either controls or heavily influences 229 to the Taliban’s 59. The remaining 119 districts are considered contested, according to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
Meanwhile, Hamdullah Mohib, the Afghan ambassador to the United States, disputed that American and Afghan forces were leaving rural areas and essentially surrendering them to the Taliban.
On the other hand, Ghulam Sarwar Haidari, the former deputy police chief of northwestern Badghis Province, said his forces withdrew from the small town of Dara-e-bom after the Afghan National Army abandoned their outposts in past months. “We should lose 100 lives to retake that area,” he said.
Some experts from Afghanistan have interpreted the US plan as a betrayal of the political legitimacy of the Afghanistan government and system, saying the United States intends to cede areas to the Taliban.

Najib Paykan, an analyst for political affairs in the country, says that the Americans’ plan has two dimensions, one to undermines the legitimacy of the government and other, to give privileges to the Taliban.
Yet, according to reports, US diplomats have held direct talks with Taliban in Qatar, and some Taliban sources said talks with USA were constructive.

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