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NATO member Norway has acknowledged that the two-decade war in and occupation of Afghanistan by the Western military alliance has failed to bear a result and bring peace to the war-torn country.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said on Tuesday that her country planned to pull out its troops from Afghanistan and that almost 20 years of military action had failed to result in a peaceful solution in the Asian country.
Solberg also warned that the massive withdrawal of foreign forces, in the absence of a domestic Afghan peace deal, would pose a significant threat to the Afghan nation. “Unfortunately, it is far from being a stable state and a peaceful, democratic society,” Solberg said. She also admitted, “An important lesson from Afghanistan is that the conflict cannot be resolved militarily.”
“Norway plans for a continued diplomatic presence in Kabul,” she said. “But this presupposes that the safety of the employees at the embassy can be safeguarded.” “If the Taliban were to seize power through violence, we will not be able to support such a regime,” the prime minister added.
Norwegian opposition, which has slammed Norway’s participation and pullout both, said the prime minister “sugarcoated” the Afghan war. “The prime minister hardly mentioned anything about the people who have been killed, injured, or forced to flee,” said the leader of the opposition Red Party, Bjørnar Moxnes. “The war has completely failed in its attempt to fight terrorism.”
The US attacked Afghanistan in 2001, claiming that the Taliban was harboring al-Qaeda. The invasion removed a Taliban regime from power but prompted widespread militancy and insecurity across the Asian country. The war has taken countless lives, including a large number of Afghan civilians.
All foreign troops were supposed to have been withdrawn from Afghanistan by May 1, as part of an agreement that the U.S. had reached with the Taliban in the Qatari capital, Doha, last year. But U.S. President Joe Biden last month pushed that date back to September 11.
The Taliban warned that the passing of the May 1 deadline for a complete withdrawal “opened the way for” the militants to take every counteraction they deemed appropriate against foreign forces in the county.
And even though Afghan President Ashraf Ghani urged the Taliban to stop their attacks permanently, the group has intensified its assaults following the end of a three-day ceasefire on Sunday. Ghani, nevertheless, said on Monday that this government was ready to fight against the Taliban after the full withdrawal of foreign forces.