00:58 GMT13 June 2021
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    Washington-Kabul: The Lynchpin of the Reinvented Alliance

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    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani paid his first visit to US to cement ties built on the foundation of sand. Instead of leaving a piecemeal presence of American forces by the end of this year as was earlier in the cards, President Obama announced that 9,800 troops will stay in the country by the end of the year.

    The understanding is that they'll continue training their Afghan counterparts, and that some of them may even assist with drone strikes.

    The announcement, expected by many for some time already, comes as the traditional fighting season in spring and summer is about to commence, as well as fears that ISIL may be establishing a presence in the country.

    Sergei Oznobnischev, Director, Institute for Strategic Assessment and Deputy-chairman, "Russia-USA" Association  (studio guest)

    "The US is hesitating; it doesn't know what to do next."

    "The policy is reactive."

    "We have to react to the fluidly changing political environment."

    "It's in Moscow's interest for the US troops to stay there for some time longer."

    "For the domestic audience, this is a demonstration that Obama's policy isn't decisive and that he doesn't follow his own earlier prescriptions."

    Tony Papert, Editor, Executive Intelligence Review (US)

    "It's like Iraq — if the US leaves, there's a terrible mess, but if it stays, it's also a terrible mess."

    "The middle term solution is to involve cooperation with the CSTO and SCO."

    "The origin of this is actually British Imperialism."

    "Afghanistan's problems started with Brzezinski."

    "This is the British puppet masters, or the British brain and American muscle, or the Polish brain and American muscle."

    Veronika Eschbacher, political observer, Wiener Zeitung, (Austria)

    "Iraq has shown the consequences of leaving a fragile ally too soon."

    "There is more room to be flexible in what to do."

    "In 2014, the security forces encountered challenges."

    Tags:
    US troop withdrawal, war, Veronika Eschbacher, Tony Papert, Sergei Oznobnischev, Afghanistan, US
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