ASSESSMENTS

In Afghanistan, the Stage is Set for Civil War

MIN READJul 2, 2021 | 19:15 GMT

A U.S. military helicopter flies toward the Green Zone in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 1, 2021.

A U.S. military helicopter flies toward the Green Zone in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 1, 2021.

(WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)

The rapid withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan, combined with the Taliban’s recent territorial gains, will create a power struggle between the Taliban and the Afghan government that will likely cause a civil war and further degrade the regional security environment. The Sept. 11 deadline for U.S. troop withdrawal announced by President Joe Biden has become a symbolic timeline. On the ground, more than half of U.S. and NATO troops have left Afghanistan, and reports suggest remaining troops will leave the country as soon as the first week of July. On July 2, U.S. forces finished withdrawing from Bagram, their main military base in Afghanistan. Taking advantage of this strategic opportunity where Afghan troops are solely responsible for the security of the country, the Taliban launched an offensive campaign to capture and control territories, almost as soon as May 1 when foreign troop withdrawal began. The Taliban has since taken...

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