The Pentagon has said that the United States will address the issue of threats emancipating from terrorism in Afghanistan even after the withdrawal of American forces from the country.
David Helvey, Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Indo-Pacific Security Affairs, told members of US Congress Committee on Armed Services that the United States was assessing ways to combat terrorist groups in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of the US and coalition forces.
“As part of the inter-agency review of the United States’ policy in Afghanistan, the administration assesses that threat from violent extremist organizations against the United States now emanating from Afghanistan can be addressed without a persistent United States’ military presence in that country,” Helvey said.
“At the same time, we work closely with the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and with our allies and partners to maintain counterterrorism capabilities in the region sufficient to ensure that Afghanistan cannot again become a safe haven for terrorists,” he added.
But a member of the US House of Representatives said that the Taliban will fight until they take the power by force.
“Since May 1st, Taliban has been crystal clear about their intentions. They have launched a new offensive targeting coalition forces, Afghan soldiers and innocent civilians. On Saturday, the Taliban bombed a girls school in Kabul, killing over 50 people, most of them young girls. Make no mistake, they will fight until they control that country again,” said Mike Rogers, a member of the US House of Representatives.
Meanwhile, The New York Times has reported that western spy agencies are evaluating and courting regional leaders outside the Afghan government who might be able to provide intelligence about terrorist threats long after US forces withdraw, according to current and former American, European and Afghan officials.
Ahmad Massoud, the son of Afghanistan’s National Hero Ahmad Shah Massoud, is one of the names in the report among new allies for US in the country after the troops withdrawal.
“Among the candidates being considered today for intelligence gathering is the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the famed Afghan fighter who led fighters against the Soviets in the 1980s and then against the Taliban as head of the Northern Alliance the following decade. The son — Ahmad Massoud, 32 — has spent the last few years trying to revive the work of his father by assembling a coalition of militias to defend Afghanistan’s north,” wrote the report.
Based on the report, top CIA officials, including William J. Burns, the agency’s director, have acknowledged that they are looking for new ways to collect information in Afghanistan once American forces are withdrawn, and their ability to gather information on terrorist activity is diminished.
Washington is more divided, and some government analysts do not think Massoud would be able to build an effective coalition.
But in the New York Times report it was writthen whether the new allies were aimed to fight the Taliban in the future.