| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

What is your strategy to stop Taliban from acquiring nuclear weapons? US lawmakers to Biden

A group of US lawmakers has urged President Joe Biden to prevent the Taliban, Afghanistan’s de facto rulers, from destabilising Pakistan and acquiring nuclear weapons.

The lawmakers demanded that Biden answer critical questions about what happened in Afghanistan and his plans for the future.

“Are you willing to provide military support to regional allies if the Taliban militarise the Afghan border?”

In a letter addressed to Biden on Wednesday, a group of 68 lawmakers from the Senate and House of Representatives asked, “What is your plan to help ensure that the Taliban do not destabilise its nuclear neighbour Pakistan?”

The lawmakers stated that in recent weeks, the world has watched in astonishment as the Taliban took over Afghanistan with astonishing speed, as a result of “unforced errors made by withdrawing completely the small remaining footprint of our main military force from Afghanistan, and by unnecessarily delaying the evacuation of US personnel and Afghan partners.”

According to them, the situation in Afghanistan has rapidly “metastasized” into Taliban rule, with reintroduced oppression of women and girls, repression of civil society, the displacement of countless Afghans from their homes, whom the Taliban then uses force to prevent from fleeing Afghanistan, and a power vacuum that China seeks to fill by strengthening ties with the Taliban.

The lawmakers stated that the consequences of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan are not limited to that country or even the Middle East region, and that the action has already begun to unfold and will reverberate for decades.

“Dealing with these consequences necessitates immediate action to chart the course for American strategy, even as we deal with the immediate ramifications of this self-inflicted crisis in Afghanistan. To that end, we write to request that you outline your strategy for moving America forward,” they wrote.

The group emphasised in the letter that the effect of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years has consequences not only in the specific nation, or even the Middle East, but also has strategic and geographical consequences that have already begun to unravel and will continue for decades.