President Joe Biden is making good on his campaign promise to pull American troops out of Afghanistan. As that’s happening, the Taliban is gaining more control and reports of violence against civilians are at a record high.
“What we’re really seeing, and it is rather disturbing for sure, is Afghan security forces don’t appear to be holding their own against the Taliban,” said UT Austin International Relations & Global Studies Professor Michael Mosser.
Mosser says security experts are watching this closely – especially as other players including Russia, Pakistan, and Iran are also involved.
“I don’t necessarily believe this – the kind of chaos that we’re starting to see in Afghanistan – I don’t necessarily believe it’s inevitable,” Mosser said. “But, you know, Afghanistan occupies a really crucial geostrategic region and a geostrategic location in that region.”
Despite the challenges, Mosser does not see the Biden administration backing down on its promise to complete the troop withdrawal.
“That would make them appear feckless and, you know, sort of just completely wishy washy,” Mosser said.
He says if larger cities in Afghanistan begin to fall, the Biden administration could reassess. But, Mosser emphasizes the United States is not completely backing out of Afghanistan, just ending its military mission there. Mosser says the diplomatic mission will continue and American officials remaining in Afghanistan should not be in jeopardy.
“They would be the best protected of any security or any U.S. forces left behind or any U.S. personnel left behind. So, at present, they are those who are staying behind in Kabul are probably pretty safe,” Mosser said.