US troops withdrawal: Afghan Generals fear collapse of Afghanistan to Afghan Taliban

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US troops withdrawal: Afghan Generals fear collapse of Afghanistan to Afghan Taliban

KABUL - The withdrawal of US troops have left Afghan generals fearing for collapse of Afghanistan in hands of Afghan Taliban.

Afghan Generals have warned it would be a blow to the morale of the country’s beleaguered security forces who come under daily attacks from the insurgent fighters.

The announcement seems certain to complicate efforts to reach a peace deal, mostly because it gives the Taliban leverage by allowing them to hold off until a total US withdrawal, or step up their demands over a weakened Afghan government.

“I believe the Taliban will see this as a reason to stall, and therefore it disincentivizes the Taliban to actually talk to the Afghan government, which it has refused to do,” said Bill Roggio, an Afghanistan analyst with the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Afghanistan’s security forces rely heavily on US airpower against both Taliban and an upstart Islamic State affiliate, and Afghan military officials note the announcement by the Trump administration comes as the country’s security is at its worst since 2014, when more than 100,000 NATO troops pulled out of the country and handed off security to Afghans.

The US and NATO retreated into a training and advising role.

“A complete withdrawal of US forces would very likely cause the Taliban to make gains in key areas throughout Afghanistan,” Roggio said. “This likely would cause the general collapse of the (Afghan National Security and Defense Force) as a cohesive fighting force and lead to the return of the warlords.”

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