Afghanistan will be facing two critical issues in the year ahead, which are to decide about a long-term partnership with the U.S. and tackle the surge in terrorist and insurgent attacks. That is why the country is at a crossroad and needs to decide wisely. Nowadays, there are a lot of rumors about the pressure that Afghan government is receiving from the neighboring countries on the long-term agreement to be struck between Afghanistan and the United States of America, which may serve to provide a cushion against the interferences by regional countries. The rumors have spread more widely in recent weeks but unfortunately the government is too weak to provide explanations on its stance to dispel public concerns. In addition, it always fails to seek public opinion on different critical national issues when it has to decide on them.
The U.S. president Barack Obama has announced a new team for Afghanistan to lead the U.S. and NATO troops and the U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. Gen. John Allen, currently deputy commander for CENTCOM, would be the new US commander in Afghanistan to replace Gen. Petraeus while senior diplomat Ryan Crocker replaces current American ambassador Karl Eikenberry.
Announcing his new team for Afghanistan, president Obama told reporters on Thursday, April 28, "In Afghanistan, the United States is moving into a new phase, transferring responsibility for security to Afghan forces, starting to reduce American forces this summer and building a long-term partnership with the Afghan people." So both Afghanistan and the U.S. are going to enter into a new phase in the war against the insurgents which has lasted for a decade. It is important for Afghanistan to define its national interests and make sure that it is not going to become a theater for another round of regional interferences or civil conflicts once again. It is also important for Afghanistan to make sure that the Taliban militants are weakened sufficiently before foreign forces start drawdown.
The last two weeks were terrible for the country because of the brazen assault on Ministry of National Defense in the capital, the biggest prison break in Kandahar and the killing of 8 foreign troops in the Kabul international air base. It is hoped that there measures are taken to prevent these types of scandals, which have very terrible and negative psychological impacts on public minds and opinions.