Sunday, May 19

Afghanistan Teeters on the Brink of Civil War as Taliban Splinters into Multiple Factions, Warns Former Afghan Commander

A grim assessment of Afghanistan’s current situation has been offered by a former Afghan commander, who warns that the country is perilously close to descending into a full-blown civil war.

Two years after the abrupt departure of US forces from Kabul, Afghanistan stands on the precipice of civil war, plagued by Taliban factionalism and emerging as a potential haven for foreign terrorists, according to a former Afghan commander. Lt. Gen. Haibatullah Alizai, who served as chief of staff for the army when Kabul fell to the Taliban in August 2021, expressed grave concerns about the current situation in Afghanistan.

He emphasized the critical and dangerous direction in which the country is heading, raising the specter of either a renewed civil war or a division of Afghanistan. Alizai, now residing in the US, has recently launched an initiative to unite Afghans abroad and has criticized the Biden administration for the abrupt withdrawal that left Afghanistan under Taliban control. During this period, the number of terrorist organizations in Afghanistan has reportedly increased.

 

Afghanistan Teeters on the Brink of Civil War as Taliban Splinters into Multiple Factions, Warns Former Afghan Commander
Afghanistan Teeters on the Brink of Civil War as Taliban Splinters into Multiple Factions, Warns Former Afghan Commander

 

Lt. Gen. Haibatullah Alizai, the former Afghan commander, raised alarming concerns about Afghanistan’s deteriorating security situation under Taliban rule. He revealed that even African terrorist groups like Al-Shabaab have managed to establish a presence in Afghanistan and are conducting training activities for their militants within the country. This troubling development is occurring under the Taliban’s control.

The situation in Afghanistan is further compounded by the resurgence of Al-Qaeda and the increasing activity of Daish (ISIS). Additionally, various resistance groups have been forming across different regions, adding to the growing instability and raising the specter of another serious civil war or the potential division of Afghanistan.

Alizai asserted that Afghanistan is on the path to becoming a safe haven for terrorists under the Taliban’s rule. He placed blame on the Biden administration, particularly President Biden himself, for making a hasty decision to withdraw without thoroughly assessing the complexities and challenges facing Afghanistan. The rapid withdrawal, Alizai argued, failed to consider the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, contributing to the current crisis.

Lt. Gen. Haibatullah Alizai, a native of Helmand province and a seasoned Afghan commander, highlighted the warnings that were conveyed to the Biden administration regarding the chaos that would ensue with a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan. He stressed that Afghans, along with intelligence organizations and military personnel, had consistently communicated the potential for turmoil on the ground. However, these warnings went unheeded, and the administration proceeded with the rapid withdrawal, resulting in the current dire situation in Afghanistan.

Alizai issued a stark warning that if the international community does not respond effectively to the ongoing crisis, Afghanistan could deteriorate even further than it was before the events of 2001.

Throughout his career, Alizai served in various critical roles, including internal investigations, humanitarian efforts, and military operations coordination. He held leadership positions within Afghanistan’s security apparatus and played key roles during the tumultuous period of the Afghanistan War and the subsequent US military withdrawal.

Regarding the Taliban’s control, Alizai noted that the group does not hold sway over the entire country. He highlighted the existence of four distinct factions within the Taliban: Kandhari Taliban, Helmandi Taliban, the Haqqani group, and those who engaged in negotiations with the US in Doha. These internal divisions within the Taliban have further complicated the security and stability of Afghanistan.

Lt. Gen. Haibatullah Alizai shed light on the internal dynamics within the Taliban, where different factions are vying for power and influence. He noted that there is discontent within some of these factions regarding the decisions made by Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, the leader of the Taliban, as he appears to be centralizing power within his own circle.

Additionally, Alizai mentioned the existence of the Helmandi Taliban, led by Maulvi Mansoor, who have experienced significant casualties over the past two years. This infighting and competition for dominance within the Taliban ranks have created vulnerabilities and divisions that extremist groups like Daish (ISIS) are exploiting to expand their presence and influence in Afghanistan.

These internal power struggles within the Taliban are contributing to the overall instability and insecurity in Afghanistan, exacerbating the challenges faced by the country.


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