GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Now that the Biden Administration has said the 20-year war in Afghanistan has officially ended, many Americans are wondering how the events there unfolded so quickly and what it means for the United States.
Dr. Armin Krishnan, Director of East Carolina University Security Studies, said there wasn’t a good plan in place to remove troops and other resources from Afghanistan. Ultimately, he said this led to what unfolded over the past few weeks in the country.
“Obviously it goes back to 9/11 and the desire to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden and destroy the Al Qaeda infrastructure in Afghanistan, as well as defeat the Taliban and establish a new government,” said Krishnan.
Fast forward nearly 20 years and the Taliban is again ruling in Afghanistan. Krishnan said the withdrawal plan was flawed.
“The Trump Administration had decided to negotiate with the Taliban to arrange the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan,” Krishnan said. “That plan was implemented by the Biden Administration but was implemented in a manner that included a lot of mistakes.”
Krishnan said one of those mistakes was there was no plan in place after the withdrawal.
“We should have withdrawn more gradually and should have had some plan for how the country was to be managed after the U.S. withdrawal,” he said. “That creates a situation where we have empowered a government that is essentially hostile to us and our interests in the region.”
During a news conference on Tuesday, President Joe Biden called the withdrawal an “extraordinary success,” and said he believed after decades of training, the Afghan government would be equipped to withstand a Taliban takeover.
“That assumption that the Afghan government would be able to hold on for a period of time beyond military drawdown turned out not to be accurate,” Biden said.
Krishnan said even though American troops are out, he fears the conflict is not over.
“I don’t see the war on terror ending,” he said. “That is the sad part of the story. This type of conflict is going to continue at least the next couple years, decades or longer.
“I think it’s very important to watch what is going to happen next concerning how are other countries and powers are going to respond to the Afghanistan story.”