Pompeo Threatens US Pullout From Afghanistan During Kabul Visit

Told Ghani, Abdullah they would be help responsible if no power-sharing deal

On March 23, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bad a very unproductive visit in Kabul about the Afghan government’s post-election split. This culminated with the US pulling $1 billion in military aid from them.

The presidential election saw both Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah claiming victory, and ultimately both holding inaugurations. Pompeo demanded that they work out a deal, and warned they’ll both be held responsible if they don’t work something out.

That was apparently just the beginning of the cuts, the slashing of $1 billion, with a threat of another $1 billion cut for 2021, was followed by Pompeo threatening to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan in retaliation if the dispute continued. The State Department had not previously reported that part.

With a US peace deal meant to end with a pullout from Afghanistan, this threat might be more honest than normal, and may reflect the administration questioning if it is worth sticking around in Afghanistan to support the ruins of a government.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.