US seeks help to clean up Afghan mess it created ahead of Aug. 31 deadline
Published: Aug 30, 2021 07:09 PM
An ambulance is seen at the explosion site near the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

An ambulance is seen at the explosion site near the Kabul airport in Afghanistan, Aug. 27, 2021. Photo: Xinhua

The US has realized that it can't handle the chaotic situation in Afghanistan and is seeking support from its allies, China and the UN Security Council to help clear up the messy situation it has caused in Afghanistan without truly reflecting on its debacles, analysts said after Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation at the request of the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sunday.

The situation in Afghanistan has undergone fundamental changes, and it is necessary for all parties to make contact with the Taliban and guide it actively. The US, in particular, needs to work with the international community to provide Afghanistan with urgently-needed economic, livelihood and humanitarian assistance, help the new Afghan political structure maintain normal operation of government institutions, maintain social security and stability, curb currency devaluation and inflation, and embark on the path of peaceful reconstruction at an early date, Wang said during the phone call with Blinken on Sunday.  

Facts have proved again that the Afghanistan war never achieved the goal of eliminating terrorist forces in Afghanistan. The hasty withdrawal of the US and NATO troops is likely to offer an opportunity to various terrorist groups in Afghanistan to resurge, Wang said.   

Blinken said the US believes that the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) should speak in a clear and unified voice to show that the international community expects the Taliban to ensure the safe evacuation of foreign citizens and the Afghan people's access to humanitarian assistance, and guarantee that Afghan territory cannot become a hotbed of terrorist attacks or a safe haven for terrorism.

Given China's smooth communication with the Afghan Taliban, by making the phone call, Blinken wanted to seek China's assistance to help it accomplish the withdrawal from Afghanistan as the August 31 deadline approaches and the threats of terrorist attacks have increased, Cao Wei, a research fellow from Institute for Central Asian Studies of Lanzhou University, told the Global Times on Monday. 

On Sunday, another explosion rocked an area near Kabul airport following the one that killed 13 US service members and at least 170 others outside the airport on Thursday. Reuters reported that the blast appeared to have been caused by a rocket that hit a house in the northern side of the airport. 

Meanwhile, US forces launched a military strike in Kabul on Sunday targeting a possible suicide car bomb that was aiming to attack the airport, US officials said, Reuters reported. 

Blinken expected China to take over the situation and clear up the mess it has created in   Afghanistan. His remarks revealed the US' selfishness - its focus is to safely finish the evacuation of its citizens, and it asked help from the international community to achieve it, Li Weijian, a research fellow with the Institute for Foreign Policy Studies of the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, and vice president of the Chinese Association of Middle East Studies, told the Global Times on Monday.

During the conversation with Blinken, Wang said the US clearly knows the causes of the current chaotic situation in Afghanistan. Any action to be taken by the UNSC should contribute to easing tensions instead of exacerbating them, and contribute to a smooth transition of the situation in Afghanistan rather than a return to turmoil. 

China and the US share common interests on preventing terrorism from further growing and expanding in Afghanistan and stopping chaos and disturbance in the country. But they differ on how to realize these goals - China insists on non-interference in Afghan internal affairs, respects the choices of the Afghan people and promotes domestic political reconciliation on building an inclusive government; while the US is adopting tough policies to force the Afghan Taliban to cooperate with its withdrawal and to break off with terrorist organizations, Cao noted.

The US and its allies are boasting their efforts on receiving Afghan refugees and offering humanitarian assistance to those who want to flee the country, in the hope to pressure more countries, especially China, to take same measures in taking refugees and help to clear up the mess  the US has caused.

Cao said that China would not alter its attitude on solving the refugee problem from the root - to offer humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in stabilizing the domestic situation. Other ways, including taking refugees, are only temporary solutions without settling the threats to regional stability.

On Monday, the UN Security Council is expected to discuss the Taliban's reassurances that foreign nationals and eligible Afghans will be allowed to leave after the August 31 deadline of the US and its Western allies' troop withdrawal from the country. 

On the same day, the US will host a virtual meeting with "key partners" including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Qatar, the European Union and NATO, to discuss their next steps in Afghanistan, the US State Department said on Sunday. 

On Monday, many media outlets pointed out that the UN Security Council has dropped the reference of the Afghan Taliban from a statement on terror activities in Afghanistan and said it is an indication of the member nations' change of approach toward the Afghan Taliban. 

Considering factors that affect the current Afghan situation, such as terror attacks, the UN Security Council is expected to reach a consensus with the international community on how to stabilize the domestic situation and make sure Taliban's reassurances of establishing open, inclusive, and broadly representative government are implemented, Li said. 

"Instead of taking hostile attitude toward the Afghan Taliban and suppressing it, the international community should help and guide it to take firm fight against terrorism. After all, it has displayed changes and seems to have become more inclusive. And we should further observe its future actions and remarks," Cao said. 

Terrorist organizations, especially the ISIS-K, which took responsibility for the terror attacks at the Kabul airport, will pose a great threat to the security situation in Afghanistan after the US and Western troops' withdrawal, and the Taliban should play a bigger role in fighting terrorism to fulfill its promises to the international community.