AFGHANISTAN: US Inching Toward Total Withdrawal, Peace Deal with Taliban

Photo: US envoy to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad speaks to audience after televised debate.

By Jennifer Kelly

After 18 years of imperialist war, the US is getting close to reaching a peace agreement with the Taliban, which would include a complete withdrawal of US troops. Ahead of a final agreement, US President Donald Trump announced he would be withdrawing over 5,000 troops from Afghanistan on August 29, lowering the number from 14,000 to 8,600.

The Taliban held sway over much of the country prior to the US invasion and believe these talks and the withdrawal of US troops signal victory. In 2018, Gen. Austin Scott Miller, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, admitted that a military victory in the country was impossible for the US, and that only a political agreement with the Taliban could provide an end to the war.

miller
Gen. Austin Scott Miller, commander of US troops in Afghanistan

Within the US, officials are torn over how quickly the troops should be pulled and the peace talks concluded. Trump is eager to see US forces withdrawn from Afghanistan as soon as possible, who sees the move as improving his chances in the 2020 presidential elections. Others like senator Lindsey Graham, on the other hand, fear that it would only exacerbate the internal conflict and that the US puppet government would be deposed by the Taliban.

“We will continue our fight against the Afghan government and take power by force,” an anonymous Taliban commander told bourgeois media.

Even as peace talks continue, the Taliban escalates its attacks on the puppet government. As the American peace envoy conducted an interview in Kabul on the peace negotiation, the Taliban bombed a compound in the city known as Green Village, which houses private security companies and NGO contractors. This attack on Imperialist soldiers precipitated a protest of hundreds of Afghans in the surrounding neighborhood, who demanded they leave the country, going so far as to set fire to a guard tower and several armored vehicles.

green village
Aftermath of Green Village bombing in Kabul

This is not the first Imperialist force the Taliban have chased out of Afghanistan. They emerged out of the struggle of Islamists against the social-imperialism of the revisionist Soviet Union, from the Mujahideen which had been backed by the US Central Intelligence Agency.

Since then, the Taliban have been the main political and military force resisting imperialism in Afghanistan, chiefly US imperialism. While they now seem on the edge of successfully pushing the invaders out, as long as imperialism exists “peace” for Afghanistan will be temporary and tenuous. Furthermore, the reactionary and conservative ideology of the Taliban limits any future progress. The only means by which the Afghan people can be truly liberated is through a New Democratic revolution, led by the proletariat and its party aimed at sweeping away imperialism, semifeudalism, and bureaucratic capitalism before continuing on to build socialism.