The tiring war against terrorism that was launched after the incident of 9/11, brought with itself different sorts of influences and impacts on the lives of people in Afghanistan, South Asian region and U.S. in particular and the world in general. The war, though has done much to topple down the Al-Qaida favoring reign of Taliban and has been able to target the mastermind of the incidents of 9/11 - Osama Bin Laden, it has brought with itself a pile of controversies.
Though it has certain medals on its chest, the war is considered to have proved very much lethal in some other ways. The resources that have been used in this war have not been considered to have hit the bull’s eye and the very reason for which the war was started is yet to be achieved even after 14 years, when the involved nations of the world seem to be reluctant to continue the war and ready to drag it towards a conclusion.
According to a recent report by Equality for Peace and Democracy in cooperation with United States Institute of Peace, Afghanistan’s war and the war against terrorism cost the country a staggering USD 9 billion or approximately USD 24,906 million per day. The figure is equivalent to 44% of Afghanistan’s GDP. It is approximately 113% of the total of Afghanistan’s 2014 national budget, and amounts to roughly four times the Afghan government’s revenue collection target for last year.
According to the report, there is an extra budget allocated to the ministries of defense and interior affairs, the national security council and the National Directorate of Security (NDS),
Ministry of Defense gets an additional USD 1.5 billion over their annual budget; the Ministry of Interior gets almost USD 1.2 billion extra; National Security Council gets over USD 1.5 million and the NDS an additional USD 200 million.
Though these costs can be considered to be necessary to fight the war against terrorism, there can be measures to tackle the situation and decrease these spending and more budget and efforts can be spared for infrastructural development, health and education sectors.
The most important pretexts to the war were to put an end to the terrorism in Afghanistan and help it build strong political and economic systems so that it can guarantee its survival on the modern concept of democracy. Both the pretexts are yet to be realized to full extent and the international security forces led by U.S. troops will completely withdraw within a couple of years. Neither the terrorist networks have been eradicated from the region nor the political and economic system in Afghanistan are standing on strong footings that can be left alone without much attention and support from international community.
The phenomenon of terrorism has the capacity to grow into strong position from where it is today and can really threaten the region and the world as a whole. Further, this phenomenon is no more an issue only in Afghanistan and has been nourishing in the neighboring countries as well.
Former president Hamid Karzai, in a recent interview to RT TV, said that the United States is not interested in winning the war against terrorism in Afghanistan despite 14 years of combat. He further added that there was more radicalism in Afghanistan and in the whole region than there had been ever before. He said, “That is why I’ve been calling for a long time now for re-thinking of the strategy in the fight against terrorism; for re-evaluating whether this struggle against terrorism is a failure or if there’s a broader issue at hand here that we don’t know yet about or we don’t understand”.
He also suggested, “US and its NATO allies must now begin to consult with major powers and explain it. We must first find out if this has been a failure, but if this is not described as a failure, by the US and its allies, then we need to have explanations from them on what else is the reason.”
It is really a crying need of time that the situation in Afghanistan must be reconsidered. Insecurity, mostly promoted by Taliban, has increased than ever before. The future appears ambiguous and the peace process is totally out of shape. The Afghan authorities must understand that the war in Afghanistan has to be ended decisively and that is what the circumstances in Afghanistan and the neighboring countries are demanding. Both the eradication of terrorism and political and economic stability of country have to be made sure before the war is concluded.
No doubt, there have been many sacrifices given in this war so far, both in terms of human life and resources, which cannot be taken back, but with a little more effort the outcome of the war can be quite different from what it can turn into if left in the way it is. This war has to be concluded with the victory of peace loving forces against the terror networks.