The United States may have withdrawn from the battlefield in Afghanistan, but the struggle for power and influence there is ongoing, CNN Political Analyst Josh Rogin explains.
“The void is being filled by a number of actors including terrorist groups such as al Qaeda and the Haqqani group, including China and Russia, including Iran and Turkey, and all of that has implications, not just for what happens inside of Afghanistan, but for what happens in the region and around the world as well,” Rogin said.
“We know from past history that for the jihadists victory equals recruitment. We know that when they have a country, that country can become a safe haven for attacks in other places in the world,” he continued. “And we know that Afghanistan is still a place where empires go to secure minerals and strategic advantage. So the game in Afghanistan is afoot.”
Rogin said that while the US won’t be involved as heavily in Afghanistan going forward “pretty much every other country in the world is still playing.”
US President Joe Biden defended his decision to withdraw from Afghanistan on Tuesday, saying the departure indicated the end of “an era of major military operations to remake other countries.”
Earlier Wednesday, CNN’s Nic Robertson reported there was a lot of diplomacy underway with the Taliban and also with regional parties like Pakistan. The German and Pakistani foreign ministers met in Islamabad on Tuesday, while the Dutch foreign minister was visiting on Wednesday.
“A lot of effort is being applied to the Taliban to try to make sure that those other Afghans who were associated with NATO inside Afghanistan who want to leave, those other American citizens who are in Afghanistan who want to leave, are able to leave,” Robertson said.
He added that the next steps are dependent on the formation of the Taliban government, which is expected to be announced in the coming days.
“The longer the Taliban waits to announce that government, the more the country is in limbo, the more the economy is hurt and the greater the possibility of people wanting to flee the country.”