Ghani: Afghan Govt Prepared for $1 Billion US Aid Cut

US general assures Afghan forces of support, diplomats threaten more cuts

The US decision to cut $1 billion in aid to Afghanistan, threats to cut another $1 billion in 2021, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declaring Ghani and Abdullah’s power struggle as harmful to US interests are a big change, and seemingly represent a break in US-Afghan ties.

President Ghani was quick to reject this idea in his comments on Tuesday, saying the government was already prepared to cope with the cut, and will find alternative resources. He added that he will continue negotiations to try to resolve the power struggle, in which he and Abdullah both claimed the election win and were both inaugurated as president.

The Afghan election’s inconclusive result was materially identical to the last vote, in which the same two candidates claimed victory, only for the US to quickly come forward with a negotiation. This time, the US was late to the show for talks, and clearly the Afghans’ inability to sort it out didn’t sit well with the US.

The US seems to be of multiple voices on this topic though, as while the State Department warns them, Gen. Scott Miller reiterated coalition support for Afghan security forces. The general downplayed the political situation in Afghanistan, and said the military will accomplish its goals.

This assurance of support from at least part of the US venture in Afghanistan would be more substantial were the US military not one foot out the door from Afghanistan and in the process of a peace deal. Indeed, anger at Ghani is primary that his power struggle threatens this peace.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.