23:41 GMT +319 November 2019
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    In this July 24, 2016 file photo, a US military personal stands guard during a graduation ceremony for Afghan troops, in Lashkargah, capital of southern Helmand province, Afghanistan.

    Security in Afghanistan Not a Priority for the US Anymore?

    © AP Photo / Abdul Khaliq
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    Last week the Pentagon transferred $1.5 billion from the US military to fund the construction of a wall on the US-Mexico border. Around $650 million of that amount was reallocated by the US Department of Defence from the Afghan National Security Forces and put towards building the wall promised by President Donald Trump.

    But is this a violation of the US-Afghan security agreement and a disregard of US obligations to assist the Afghan security forces? Could this budget cut be related to the ongoing US peace talks with the Taliban in Doha?

    Abdul Manan Shiva Sharq, an Afghan political analyst, says that such a move runs counter to NATO and US obligations in Afghanistan:

    “The decision to pay for the construction of the wall with Mexico using funds allocated for supporting the Afghan army is contrary to the obligations and principles of NATO cooperation led by the United States. This will lead to weakening of the country's security forces and reduce their capabilities, since annual military expenditure is at $6 billion dollars.”

    According to the expert, Americans have never been consistent in their international commitments: “The United States is a country with the most inconsistent policy. Reducing security spending is a prime example of US violating its commitment to counter-terrorism.”

    READ MORE: At Least 17 Afghan Soldiers Killed in US Air Strike in Southern Afghanistan

    Shiva Sharq believes that Donald Trump is often driven by economic considerations when making political and security decisions: “Peace talks mean the end of “a costly battle” for the United States. The Taliban know very well that this is an expensive war for the United States. They will not back down. And for the US, these large costs will be the main reason for their defeat.”

    Meanwhile, Nazifah Zaki, a member of the Afghan parliament, stressed that the agreement with the US isn't properly implemented:

    “The US and NATO are trying to convince us that spending a portion of the funds on the construction of a border wall with Mexico will not affect the work of security forces in Afghanistan. They were paid and will be paid their salary, and all the necessary equipment will still be provided. But this money could be spent on upgrading the equipment of security forces.

    For years, millions of dollars that were sent to Afghanistan were being plundered. The Americans, together with their associates, spent them right and left. And now President Trump has decided to use this money for something else, so the treaty, ratified by the Parliament, is not fully implemented,” the Afghan politician explained.

    “A year ago, it was proposed to revise the treaty, but because of the elections, this issue was forgotten. We need to look into this treaty and, if necessary, revise it,” Nazifah Zaki concluded.

    The views and opinions expressed by the experts are their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.    

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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