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Editorial: What US election means for Afghanistan

Undoubtedly, the US 2020 presidential election will be a historical event of the 21st century and in US history as a whole. Both contestants, the incumbent Donald Trump and Joe Biden have faced each other in a tight race and its result is on a knife edge as both Trump and Biden are neck to neck in key swing states. Trump probably ignored Biden and predicted an easy win. However, he likely had the last laugh. Trump claims premature victory, but says he’ll take election to the Supreme Court to halt the vote counting in areas where he is leading. His rival’s camps made it clear that they have legal teams standing by if Trump makes good on his threat to go to court. Based on US media projected results – Biden is leading the delegate count with 238 Electoral College votes, compared with Donald Trump’s 213. This has remained of Afghanistan’s controversial elections in 2014 and 2019, which both the candidates (current President Ghani and high peace council chairman Abdullah Abdullah,) claimed victory before the result to be announced. Comparing Afghanistan to the US is not a wise approach, but it seems alleged fraud could push the final result to might have taken days to be known. The voting is over only counting has left. Afghanistan is also at stake to see which contestants will win. The Kabul and Washington relationship is known to all. Considering strong relations, Afghan media outlets have extensively covered and updated on the US election. The results are important for the Afghans as it could directly affect all areas, namely economy, security and the peace process. But neither Trump nor Biden had talked about Afghanistan in their second and final debate before the final day of the voting. It was forced to do a triple-checking; again we found there was no section on their foreign policy realm on Afghanistan. It comes as shock that Afghanistan, now past its 19th year of invasion and frequently in the news this past year, was thus ignored. Not even a single word, even the peace process which is considered as an historic opportunity for peace and to end the war through a political settlement, was not on the agenda of both the candidates. This was disappointing. But surely, both have pledged to end the war. Nothing is valuable for the Afghans than this. Trump made it possible to come to an agreement with the Taliban, also reaching a conclusion to bring all US troops back home in the soonest period. As a result, the Afghan and Taliban peace delegations are now engaged in talks. Biden, who opposed the Obama administration’s Afghanistan surge nearly a decade ago, has a similar plan. Both are considering ending the forever wars in Afghanistan and the Middle West, which have cost them untold blood and treasure. 

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