While the future of Afghanistan may emerge from negotiations shaped by regional powers, its air force may be called upon to defend the nation, as David Isby reports.
A second peace treaty, officially titled the ‘Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan’, was signed on February 29, 2020. The deal between the US and the anti-government Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan called for not only all US military personnel to completely withdraw from the country but also those of NATO and other coalition countries and all civilian contractors.
While it was always unlikely this would take place by the deadline of May 1, 2021 – the date set out in the agreement – it is unlikely to be delayed indefinitely. In the absence of the comprehensive ceasefire sought by most Afghans after 43 straight years of conflict, the Afghan Air Force will have to make it possible to prevent the Taliban achieving a military victory.