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Should US formally recognize Taliban govt. in Afghanistan?

WRITTEN BY
09/09/21
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Bertie (Yes)

The Biden administration has made its proverbial bed regarding Afghanistan, and now it must lie in it by acknowledging the Taliban government it helped ensure came to power. As disastrous as the US pullout from Afghanistan has been, it's now a reality. Biden can't continue to kick the can down the road by refusing to commit to working with this new, albeit oppressive, government. 

We've already given up much by abandoning our allies (both Afghani and workers/military from other western countries), to say nothing of leaving Bagram Air Force Base and all the equipment housed there behind. If we now refuse to recognize and work with the new government, we will be giving up what little leverage we still possess to gain intelligence, maintain any sort of diplomacy or hope of influence in the region. Also, given Afghanistan's strategic location relative to China, Iran, Russia, and North Korea, it may become crucial for us to have potential access to both information and air space. 

In addition, there's never a shortage of dictators in the world, and history tells us that ignoring them only allows their disastrous policies to fester in the darkness of isolation. The US has a long and irrefutably more difficult road than was necessary for maintaining our future safety. The Biden administration owes it to its own citizens, citizens of the western world, and those we left behind in Afghanistan to do its level best to find a constructive way forward. Acknowledging the Taliban as the ruling party is a start, however meager it may be.

 

Tyler (No)

The Taliban has a clear history of disrespecting women's rights as well as citizen's basic civil liberties. One of the Taliban's first demands is that the Islamist group plans to eliminate all women's involvement in extracurricular activities completely. This is a major step backward for Afghan citizens, as the nation's women's cricket team qualified for full membership of the International Cricket Council. Members of the Taliban's cultural commission claim they made the decision because involvement in sports runs the risk of their face and body being exposed. This decision stems from the Taliban instituting a dress code towards women that forces them to wear a robe covering most of their face and body. 

Since the Taliban has returned to power, close to 4 million people are now displaced. Since the Taliban began their invasion of the eastern Afghan region, Afghan citizens have fled their homes in the face of imminent danger. Families in the Kunduz province have fallen victim to rocket strikes on their home and their belongings catching fire. While there is a heap of citizens fleeing, most of them are without food, water, or money.

 If the US recognizes a government that did not undergo a peaceful or traditional transfer of power, this type of behavior will be repeated by other extremist groups. All 15 members of the UN's security council are refraining from recognizing the Islamist group partly due to their inhumane strategy of taking over the nation. Recognizing the Taliban as a legitimate government that deserves 'a seat at the world table' would give them the power to treat citizens maliciously without precaution.

Fact Box

  • On August 26, 2021, suicide bomers were responsible for at least two explosions near the airport in Kabul where thousands gathered to escape the country.
  • After the Taliban gained control of Afghanistan, they “insisted” the airlift had to end by August 31, 2021. President Biden is kept to that deadline with the defense that “every day we’re on the ground is another day we know ISIS-K is seeking to target the airport and attack both us and allied forces and innocent civilians.” 
  • On April 15, 2021, Biden announced that he would withdraw the remaining US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda. 
  • On February 29, 2020, the US and the Taliban reached an “agreement for bringing peace” under the Trump administration. They had agreed to remove US troops in 14 months provided the militants banned al-Qaeda and extremist groups from areas of Taliban control. 
  • Although troops will be removed, Biden said the US “will assist Afghan forces, diplomatic, and humanitarian work in the country.”
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