Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Defective Institutions in the Post-Pullout Era

Now it has been few days since the government has, with great pomposity, taken over security mission in seven regions in the country from NATO forces. It is trying to refurbish its feeble reputation in public through such symbolic maneuvers and prove into Afghan nationals that concerns on fragility of the current situation, failure of government to perfectly fulfill its security functions and the deteriorating security are inaccurate.

Other than being tactical, the naively stated comments on Afghan government's ability to manage the process independently by 2014 may hoodwink our policy makers and put the country into a bigger trouble. To say the truth, Afghanistan is less endangered by the fugitive groups inside the country and the fight against Taliban than external stumbling blocks; our national security is more in danger because of the enhanced external threats.

However, mismanagement of status quo will pave the way for further destabilization. The current internal instability incubators will facilitate a U-turn in political and security situation. Declining aids and losing opportunities have put the nation at stake. Incompetent state institutions, insufficiently experienced elites, added to the ever growing insecurity and the external intrusions ask for a thorough revision of the decision to fully hand over security job to afghan forces and abandon the country.

Authentic indications warn that the country would either enter into a politically wobbly chaotic era or fall into the wrong hands if international forces leave the country prematurely. And military experts have also frequently warned against the troublesome consequence of a hasty withdrawal.

This long, exhausting process that was kick-started following collapse of Taliban regime is yet to be defined correctly. No consensus is reached on where the country is heading. Afghan government and its international partners are fighting against a mysterious unknown enemy. Policies and practices are getting more divergent on how to run the process.

Let's honestly admit that resources, time and opportunities are, to a great extent, spoiled in the past decade because strategies were developed based on hollow, superficial analyses and wrong conceptions. No single realistic, long term programs were developed or implemented. Money was spent on thousand of short term projects that were designed for no more than killing money and for enriching personal accounts.

Time was spent on pointless domestic clashes and egocentric discussions and no one wholeheartedly cared about poor Afghanistan. All priority needs were defined and planned for in the National Development Strategy that is neither correctly adhered to nor is introduced sufficiently. More terribly, after years of delay, the document was soon disparaged because of its sketchy and imprecise analysis and prescriptions.

Our rulers have more learnt the excuse and justification skills than to do things correctly. In a post-American Afghanistan, the defective political, economic and security institutions will last no longer. More importantly, the existing great potential for domestic clashes and horrible external intrusions refutes the idea of full surrender of the reconstruction and peace building mission.

To avoid total collapse of the government following full withdrawal of international forces and aids, the remaining short time and little resources should be spent on institutionalizing adherence to law, democracy and legalism. Or else, current incapable institutions will serve no magic for changing the existing route.