As the US is pulling troops out of Afghanistan, the Taliban has been making major gains in its offensive against the Afghan government. A Taliban commander in Ghazni province told NBC News that he’s surprised at how successful the offensive has been and how quickly the Taliban is gaining territory.
The commander also said that the Taliban has been avoiding capturing provincial capitals so the group would not violate the US-Taliban peace deal signed in Doha last year.
“We are bound to honor the Doha accord that we signed with the United States in the presence of the international community. We don’t want to capture any province or provincial headquarters anywhere in Afghanistan by September 2021 when the US forces leave our country,” the Taliban commander said.
Under the Doha agreement, the Taliban committed to not attacking the US or other foreign troops. Annexes of the deal that were not made public are said to include a commitment by the Taliban not to attack provincial capitals or major urban areas. Despite the Taliban efforts to avoid breaking the deal, a Pentagon- official told Fox News on Friday that the US launched two drone strikes against the Taliban.
As the Taliban is making significant gains, Western media is full of stories warning that the Afghan government will fall shortly after the US leaves. Hawks use what they see as Kabul’s inevitable collapse as a reason for the US to stay in Afghanistan. But the fact that after almost 20 years of US support, the Afghan government can’t stand on its own demonstrates the futility of the war and why the US must leave.