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University of Toledo political science professor, Ohio senators weigh in on Afghanistan

Because the U.S. is pulling out of the conflict, the professor said the Taliban have no real incentive to abide by commitments they made.

TOLEDO, Ohio — As the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan, a University of Toledo professor says conditions there could go back to pre-September 11.

"The Taliban, who used to run Afghanistan before 2001, have very rapidly taken over the country and it looks like we're probably back to the status quo prior to 2001," said Joel Voss, an associate professor of political science.

He said this is not a surprise because of the Taliban's growing numbers.

"This really goes back to 2020 when Trump made an agreement to withdraw troops," Voss said. "At that point, the writing was pretty much on the wall that the US would be out and so the Taliban has great momentum, exacerbated by Biden putting a strict deadline on the U.S. getting out."

Because the U.S. is pulling out, Voss said the Taliban have no real incentive to abide by commitments they made to the US.

"If we're not going to use air support for Afghan troops, etc., there's no point for the Taliban to really commit to what they said in 2020," he said.

Several political leaders are also reacting.

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, said in a statement:

"In 2001, after Al Qaeda launched a series of unprecedented deadly attacks on the United States, our armed forces entered Afghanistan to fight Al Qaeda terrorists who were being harbored by the Taliban. Over the past 20 years, both Republican and Democrat administrations realized the value of a stable Afghanistan and committed to support the goal of the Afghan people to live free of oppression and tyranny, as well as protect the homeland and our allies from the threat of international terrorism.

"As I have made clear on numerous occasions, I did not agree with President Biden’s decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan because I believe that any withdrawal should have been based on the conditions on the ground, not on an artificial timeline.

“It is wrong for the Biden administration to suggest that the events we are witnessing today are an inevitable outcome. It is obvious there was no systematic plan for withdrawal. We provided 2,500 troops to serve in a train and assist mission, and when paired with forces from our NATO allies, provided a stabilizing force to the Afghan National Army.  

“We are now closing the U.S. Embassy and deploying combat troops to secure the airport and evacuate our embassy and allied personnel, as well as those brave Afghans who served with us and possess Special Immigrant Visas. I encourage the administration to do everything possible to support this evacuation mission and ensure the safety of our allies and their families.  

“The fall of Afghanistan was preventable and will have lasting implications. Looking forward, the United States must re-engage with our allies and partners in the region to prepare for a coming refugee crisis as well as a renewed threat of international terrorism brought on by Al Qaeda and its affiliates. Afghanistan is now more likely to serve as a global launchpad for terrorism. I urge the president to be proactive in formulating a strategy for the fallout of this disastrous policy.”

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, R-Ohio, said in a statement:

“I am extremely concerned about the safety and security of Americans on the ground, as well as Afghans who helped our country over the past two decades. We must do everything in our power to evacuate them to safety and provide refuge from the unfolding humanitarian crisis.”

Voss adds you can't single out one administration for what's happening.
He says this is bad policy attached to four presidents - two Democrats and two Republicans.

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