Military leaders report that Taliban fighters have left their traditional winter break from the front-line, amid growing concerns that the Biden administration won’t withdraw American troops by the agreed deadline in May.
A Taliban commander said, “Senior commanders and governors have been directed to return to their positions and attend special sessions and discussions to chalk out a future strategy.” The commander spoke on the condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the press.
He commented on how there were many problems that the Taliban needed to address, including the stalemate of peace talks with the Afghan government and concerns over the new presidential administration in Washington, D.C.
The comments come from growing concerns and warnings of escalating violence from local and foreign officials, with President Joe Biden – who was sworn into office just months before the deadline to withdraw troops- weighing in on what to do next.
Going through with the withdrawal would end the almost 20 years of war for America in Afghanistan, but offers the risk of encouraging the Taliban, whose primary purpose for decades was to force foreign soldiers out of the country.
Still, there are possibilities that an irresponsible withdrawal of troops could lead to a new “civil war” in Afghanistan and would allow many terrorist groups to emerge and re-emerge.
One of the Taliban’s political leaders in Qatar spoke about the group’s plan, which, as he discussed, was to try to capture strategically essential provinces in case talks with the Afghan government failed. Biden kept troops in the country past the May deadline, which was agreed to by the Taliban and the Trump administration.
Because of this, commanders in “important” districts have been recalled to their positions.