US Afghanistan Envoy Steps Down After Ill-Conceived Withdrawal From Country
The Biden administration’s special representative for Afghanistan is leaving his position, less than two months after the United States completed its ill-conceived withdrawal from the country, and its takeover by the Taliban. The US State Department announced on Monday that Special Representative for Afghan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad would step down from his role. The statement said that Thomas West, who previously served as the Deputy Special Representative, will assume the position. Khalilzad submitted his resignation on Friday, Reuters reported, citing an unnamed source. Khalilzad had been in the position since 2018, and led the negotiations with the Taliban that led to the February 2020 agreement between the Taliban and the Trump administration for the withdrawal of US forces. President Biden kept him in the position after deciding to go ahead with the withdrawal which was supposed to occur in May, but took place at the end of August, ahead of the significant 9/11 anniversary date.