(MENAFN- Khaama Press)
Amrullah Saleh, former Vice President of Afghanistan, revealed information in an interview with the Russian newspaper“Nizavisimaya” published on Monday, January 22nd, regarding the views of American officials on Afghanistan and the meetings they had with senior American officials before the collapse of the Ghani government.
Amrullah Saleh stated that the republican system in Afghanistan did not collapse overnight but rather began to unravel in the spring of 2011, following the death of Osama bin Laden, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan.
This gradual process was initiated through an agreement between the United States and the Taliban in February 2020 in Doha, lasting for ten years.
Mr. Saleh believes that Russia's annexation of Crimea in Ukraine had a significant impact on American policy in Afghanistan. After this event, American meetings with the Taliban accelerated, ultimately leading to the Taliban's rise to power in 2021, as sustaining the Afghan government required substantial resources.
Saleh is of the opinion that, similar to the Cold War era, Islamist extremist forces are more advantageous for the United States in the region compared to democratic and pluralistic forces.
The former Deputy Head of the Afghan Presidency provided details about meetings he, Ashraf Ghani, and Abdullah Abdullah had with the President, Defense Minister, and the Director of U.S. Intelligence two months before the fall of the republic in June 2021.
Saleh mentioned that before meeting with Joe Biden on June 23, 2021, during a dinner with American generals, ambassadors, and influential figures, General David Petraeus, the former CIA chief, told Ashraf Ghani that American political and military forces were planning to“deal with criminals in your country and financially support them. If you dare to act in such circumstances, I congratulate you, but our actions will resemble those of criminals.”
He said that the next day during his meeting with President Biden, he asked three critical questions:“Is the Doha negotiation process between the U.S. and the Taliban a peace process or preparation for a regime change in Afghanistan?
Will your logistical, financial, and military support continue after the withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan?
If the Taliban besieges Kabul, do you have a backup plan in emergency conditions, and how can we prevent the collapse of the republic?”
According to Saleh, Biden had said that these fundamental questions should be answered by General Lloyd Austin, the U.S. Secretary of Defense.
He stated that during the meeting with the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Austin also evaded giving a clear answer. Lloyd Austin mentioned that the U.S. would continue its military assistance after leaving Afghanistan and conduct airstrikes if Kabul were besieged by the Taliban. Details of this assistance will be clarified later in Kabul.
Amrullah Saleh said that he, along with Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, met with William Burns, the head of the U.S. Intelligence Agency. Burns assured that the U.S. would maintain its reputation and credibility as a reliable partner and would stop the Taliban militarily if they besieged Kabul.
However, he also emphasized to these three Afghan officials that the next Afghan government must be established through a peace agreement with the Taliban, as the U.S. would oppose any other option.
Mr. Saleh told the Russian newspaper that at the end of this trip, they did not receive any specific answers to their questions from the Americans, and in practice, no military support or airstrikes were carried out.
During the Munich Security Conference in 2020, Mr. Saleh revealed a meeting involving President Ghani, Mike Pompeo, Heiko Maas, and Jens Stoltenberg. Pompeo directly requested Ghani's support for the Doha agreement with the Taliban, a request that Ghani declined. Saleh believes that the Afghan government's biggest mistake was trusting the United States and not prioritizing the peace process, leading to the exploitation of government weaknesses and a lack of regional allies.
Saleh pointed out that the collapse of the Afghan republican system wasn't driven by either the Republican or Democratic parties but rather by undisclosed power entities within the U.S., often referred to as the“deep state.” He emphasized that the betrayal of Afghanistan is attributed to this deep state, composed of influential individuals shaping the country's strategies. They decided that Afghanistan was no longer worth the previous support, regardless of the consequences.”
ShareFacebook Twitter WhatsApp Email Print Telegram
MENAFN provides the information “as is” without warranty of any kind. We do not accept any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, images, videos, licenses, completeness, legality, or reliability of the information contained in this article. If you have any complaints or copyright issues related to this article, kindly contact the provider above.