Taliban gains Afghan territory, may seek ‘complete return to power’ amid US withdrawal

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Scott Worden:

Well, I think there are a few things we need to happen. And the announcement that there would be a visit by President Ghani and by Abdullah Abdullah, the head of High Council on National Reconciliation to Washington, is a key step to show that the U.S. still supports the government, it still supports the state, and it does not support a Taliban takeover.

Just because troops are leaving, that is a significant consequence to the Afghan security forces’ readiness. But, at the same time, we are continuing assistance, military assistance, and economic assistance. So I think continued engagement and support for the Afghan government from the U.S. is key, also from the U.S. allies, and even from the region, because one thing that neither Iran nor Pakistan nor China nor Russia want is a Taliban takeover, or, worse, the bloody civil war.

So I think there are strong interests among diverse powers that say the negotiating table is the ways to decide the future, not the battlefield.

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