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After troops withdrawal U.S. to maintain seven bases in Afghanistan

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The US and the Taliban Saturday signed a peace agreement under which the United States, its allies, and the Coalition will withdraw all their forces from five military bases. However, New York Times Sunday reported that the US will maintain seven bases. Those bases are in Herat Province, Mazar-a-Sharif, Bagram, Jalalabad, Kabul (both the airport and the main American base next to the embassy) and Kandahar Airfield in the south. What remains unclear is how the American military will treat some of the outposts primarily used by the C.I.A., such as Camp Chapman in the country's east. The New York report pointed out that with the new Taliban deal in place, the C.I.A. will not increase its presence in the country, officials said, although the agency will draw down its personnel more slowly than the military, according to people familiar with the matter. "The agency's mission will change, and its methods in Afghanistan are likely to, as well. The agency has long used the military's intelligence efforts to bolster its own and used military bases to operate deep inside the country, to get its operatives and case officers closer to the terrorist and Islamic State groups that have been its top priority," the NY report said adding: "The agency, according to current and former government officials, will now look for new ways to collect its intelligence on terrorist groups. For the C.I.A., the most critical question is the future of its relations with its network of militia partners, which operate under the loose supervision of Afghanistan's intelligence agency, the National Directorate of Security." Some current and former officials believe finding a way for the C.I.A. and its militia forces to continue to work with a new Afghan government, one that includes the Taliban, is critical to the long-term survival of such a deal, according to the New York Times. Under the deal with the Taliban, Washington will reduce the number of its forces to 8,600 from roughly 13,000 stationed in Afghanistan, within five months. The complete U.S. troop withdrawal is to take place within 14 months, or by April 2021, provided the Taliban deliver on all its pledges and show progress in intra-Afghan peace talks on a nationwide permanent cease-fire and future-power sharing. Taliban resume offensive US-Taliban peace deal suffered a blows Monday when the Taliban announced they were resuming offensive operations against Afghan security forces, ending the partial truce that preceded the signing of a deal between the Taliban and Washington. The Taliban announcement came after Afghan President Ashraf Ghani's announcement on Sunday that his government had made no commitment to free 5,000 Taliban detainees and would not bow to pressure to do so. Ghani's assertions dealt an early blow to the landmark peace deal U.S. and Taliban officials signed in Qatar on Saturday with a goal to end the more than 18-year-old Afghan war which is the longest war of America. Chief Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted Monday that Washington has committed itself to completing the prisoner release process by March 10, when intra-Afghan peace negotiations are to open. Mujahid also tweeted the relevant portion from the Pashto language version of the deal that reads that up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners and up to 1,000 Afghan security personnel will be released before the talks begin.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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