U.S. Asks Taliban to Spare Its Kabul Embassy in Coming Combat for Capital

Mr Khalilzad hopes to convince Taliban leaders that if the group hopes to receive US financial and other aid as part of a future Afghan government, the message must remain open and secure. The Taliban leadership has declared that it wants to be seen as the legitimate administrator of the country and is seeking relationships with other world powers, including Russia and China, in order to obtain economic support.

Two officials confirmed Mr. Khalilzad’s efforts, which had not yet been reported, to discuss the delicate negotiations on condition of anonymity. A third official said Thursday that the Taliban would lose all legitimacy – including development aid – if they attack Kabul or forcibly take over the Afghan government.

Other governments are also warning the Taliban that, given the rampage their fighters have carried out across the country in recent days, they will not receive any help if they overrun the Afghan government. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Thursday that Berlin would not give the Taliban any financial support if they ultimately rule Afghanistan with an Islamic hardline law.

In other posts around the world, US diplomats said they would be closely monitoring the dangerous situation in Kabul to see how the State Department weighs its long-standing commitment to stabilizing Afghanistan against protecting the Americans who stay there if the odds change Withdraw forces.

Ronald E. Neumann, who was the American ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007, described a push-and-pull between the Pentagon and the State Department in similar situations in view of the military’s responsibility for conducting evacuations and the duty of diplomats to act on the American Help maintain and influence even in danger zones.


Aug 17, 2021, 5:37 p.m. ET

“If the military goes too early, it may be unnecessary and it can cost you a lot politically,” said Neumann, who is now president of the American Academy of Diplomacy in Washington. “If the diplomats wait too late, it looks like Saigon from the roof or leaving Mogadishu after everything has been lost, and it endangers the military. So there is no guaranteed right-hand side. “

Another senior US official this week voiced alarm over the fall of provincial capitals across Afghanistan, saying the situation could fall apart quickly if other cities follow suit, notably Mazar-i-Sharif, the only major city in the north that remains is under the control of the government.

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