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What options does Biden have in Afghanistan?

Author: Ibraheem Bahiss

Affiliation: Independent Analyst 

Organization/Publisher: Aljazeera 

Date/Place: Feb 2021/Doha, Qatar  

Type of Literature: Online Article   

Word Count: 1,700


Keywords: Taliban, Peace Negotiation, Biden Administration, Afghanistan.




This article indicates the ongoing peace negotiation process between the Taliban and Kabul by underlining the reluctance of the parties to adhere to their commitments. A particular emphasis is given to the Biden Administration’s decision for US troops’ withdrawal on May 2021 and the consequences to be dealt with. The author proposes some abstract policy alternatives for US action in Afghanistan. First, the author sees the option of a full-troop withdrawal in May as less likely, since it would challenge the power equilibrium on the ground in favor of the Taliban to take over the government and thus abandon the peace negotiation. Second, the Biden Administration might keep a residual force in ignorance or renegotiation of the US- Taliban peace agreement. This scenario could also result in the abandonment of peace negotiations and more power showcasing on the ground. Third, the Biden Administration could extend the withdrawal deadline. Since the Taliban’s commitment is comparably vague regarding armed groups, a unilateral deadline extension could signal a complete war and dismissal of agreement. Overall, the author favors diplomacy over the military, and a deadline extension through negotiation that requires certain preconditions to accelerate the intra-Afghan talks and gain more regional support. 


By: Abdullah Jurat, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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