Why was Zalmay Khalilzad’s resignation the appropriate factor to do?

With Khalilzad out of the image, his successor has the prospect to flexibly adapt to the brand new actuality that he inherited

US Particular Consultant for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad simply resigned after three years in his put up and can be changed by Deputy Particular Consultant Thomas West. This was the appropriate transfer to do for a number of causes, the obvious of which is that his function is redundant after the Taliban’s profitable takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August. Not solely was this knowledgeable embarrassment for him, however Khalilzad additionally should have been personally upset by the whole lot and easily won’t have had the desire to proceed in his put up.

The revolutionary scenario that befell two months in the past meant that it was time for the US to nominate somebody new as their level individual for participating with the nation’s de facto leaders. Khalilzad’s affiliation with the failed intra-Afghan peace course of and the US’ chaotic withdrawal that adopted stained his legacy and made significant cooperation with the Taliban on this new actuality rather more tough to realize. It’s pure for a brand new face to be related to a brand new actuality, therefore another excuse for his resignation.

That aforesaid actuality is one through which the US misplaced its on-the-ground and navy leverage with the Taliban. The one affect that it nonetheless retains over the group is monetary after the federal government froze that nation’s accounts inside its jurisdiction and pressured the monetary establishments beneath its affect, the IMF and World Financial institution, to droop assist to Afghanistan. This Machiavellian transfer enabled the US to retain important sway in terms of influencing the course of that nation’s future.

America will now follow a mixture of typical and financial diplomacy in Afghanistan. The primary-mentioned is self-explanatory and pertains to conventional diplomatic dealings whereas the second refers back to the newfound monetary leverage that it exerts over that nation. The interaction between these two types of diplomacy is meant to affect the Taliban to make good on its prior guarantees of ethno-political inclusiveness and respect for minority and ladies’s rights.

Be that as it could, the US nonetheless doesn’t have the identical affect that it did only a few months again on account of how a lot the whole lot has modified since then. It’s potential that its function could possibly be sidelined if regional stakeholders have the political will to coordinate multilateral help to Afghanistan as an alternative. The US’ chief diplomatic problem is subsequently to stay related to this course of amid such potential geo-economic competitors by not pushing the Taliban an excessive amount of to the purpose the place the group now not actually cares what America says.

The carrot that the US can probably dangle earlier than the Taliban is to considerably spend money on within the PAKAFUZ railway, which refers back to the challenge that was agreed to in February by Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan. This potential hall serves a number of mutually useful geo-economic capabilities for these three international locations, Russia, China, and the US. It’s in America’s greatest pursuits to not give up its potential function in PAKAFUZ to its Russian and Chinese language rivals, which may occur if it pushes the Taliban too laborious on reforms.

Though the US doesn’t formally recognise Afghanistan’s de facto Taliban-led authorities, it nonetheless pragmatically engages with it. This might outcome within the US accepting the group’s casual participation within the “New Quad” that was unveiled in late July between itself and the three PAKAFUZ international locations. That new diplomatic community is centered on increasing regional connectivity, which enhances that earlier described railway challenge and offers one other value-added profit to the US retaining pragmatic relations with the Taliban it doesn’t matter what.

With Khalilzad out of the image, his successor has the prospect to flexibly adapt to the brand new actuality that he inherited in an effort to advance American pursuits in post-war Afghanistan. He in fact can’t act with out greater approval which signifies that it’s incumbent that he’s granted such in any other case the US dangers dropping out within the “Nice Geo-Financial Sport” that’s unfolding on this geostrategic trans-regional house. It’ll stay to be seen whether or not its method will evolve in mild of those new challenges, however the whole lot ought to change into clearer quickly.

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