Why Did the Taliban Free an Imprisoned Afghan Police Officer?
Underneath Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. peace envoy, the American authorities has been keen to take dramatic steps, even within the face of opposition from the army and legislation enforcement, to extricate the US from its longest battle and convey about some kind of peace in Afghanistan.
Along with the large-scale prisoner releases, the Trump administration has pushed for a fast withdrawal of army forces within the nation, usually over the objections of the Pentagon. The U.S. army has drawn right down to 2,500 troops, nonetheless stationed at roughly a dozen bases within the nation, regardless of opposition from U.S. lawmakers.
However as President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. prepares to take workplace, a key query stays — whether or not he’ll preserve Mr. Khalilzad in place, or, push for a veteran diplomat of his personal selecting. Mr. Biden has lengthy had a skeptical view of a large American presence in Afghanistan, however not like President Trump, he has additionally argued for a counterterrorism power within the nation.
The F.B.I., in response to U.S. officers, positioned Ms. Hasan on a listing of people that shouldn’t be launched as a part of the Feb. 29 deal between the US and the Taliban, during which the U.S. agreed to push the Afghan authorities to free 5,000 prisoners. Officers in Australia and France additionally pushed, to no avail, for a small variety of the 5,000 prisoners, those that had been convicted of killing their residents, to stay locked up.
However Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who oversaw the negotiations and guided them based mostly on his interpretation of what Mr. Trump needed, informed international governments that “there was no various however to maneuver ahead with the prisoner releases because the events had agreed,” in response to an official who labored on the February settlement.
Internally, the State Division ultimately overruled the request to maintain Ms. Hasan behind bars, as effectively. The choice was a part of a broader effort by the White Home to expedite talks between the Afghan authorities and the Taliban earlier than the November presidential election in the US, the officers stated.
In a press release to The Instances, a State Division spokesperson stated the prisoner swap was “a troublesome determination for the Afghans to make” and for the US to just accept, including that it was “not one thing we’re joyful about.”
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