Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, March 19th, 2018

Receding Tide of War or a Dangerous Place?

Last week, Kabul witnessed one of the most organized and well-coordinated assaults by the insurgents and terrorists carried out on the Intercontinental hotel, which is heavily fortified and frequented by foreigners and high-ranking officials. Observers are of the view that this was a direct rebuttal of President Barack Obama's pronounced optimism – "the tide of war is receding"- as stated when he announced the schedule for the drawdown of 33,000 U.S. troops over the next one year. But in the post-event statement, president Obama described Afghanistan as still a dangerous place, stating, "Keep in mind the draw-down hasn't begun. So we understand that Afghanistan is a dangerous place, that the Taliban is still active, and that there are still going to be events like this on occasion." He, however, talked of relative safety in Kabul as he said, "Kabul is much safer than it was, and Afghan forces in Kabul are much more capable than they were."

It shows a bit of confusion on the part of international community and the U.S. in particular as well. President Karzai's confusion appears to be stemming from the fact that he has intent for bringing back the unhappy brothers to the fold while they do not heed his intention and effort at all. We are not going to deny the importance of negotiation and reconciliation but there is a real question on the effectiveness of the talks with a stubborn enemy driven by a destructive ideology that continue to add to the tragedies and suffering of Afghan people on a day to day basis. It is not the matter of happiness or unhappiness.

It is a matter of an epistemic and life-style approval or disapproval. But unfortunately international community is also confused and it seems that their confusion comes from president Karzai's confusion.

Moreover, Afghan government and international community have often said that the reconciliation process would include all Afghan people but the reality is that the process is not transparent and the key political groups and players that have supported the democratic system and process over the last ten years have shown a negative view towards the reconciliation for a number of reasons: one it is not effective given the current strength of Taliban and weakness of Afghan government that has not been able to expand its writ in some parts of the country for the last one decade.

Second, the process seems to be based on sole purpose of accommodating the militants at the cost of all the democratic gains as well as those have made or contributed to these democratic progresses whose continuation is the only solution to a peaceful and pluralistic Afghanistan of prosperity and development.