This year, the gradual military withdrawal will be started; while Taliban led militants have remained potentially dangerous to Afghan government. Many maintain Afghan security forces are still incapable to deal with armed anti-government opposition and overtake prevailing security crisis. They are still in due need of larger military training, skills to hold operation in guerilla types of war, increasing information about explosive materials, modern military technologies, and utilization of heavy weaponries, and other necessary skills, to cope with the situation unitarily.
However, Afghan security forces have become much better; there are worrisome concerns about their unilateral operations capability against insurgency. Such worries are further sparked by grim incidents like that of assault inside defense ministry last month that killed 2 people and injured many more.
Additionally, weeks ago Taliban militants announced their re-launch of their spring offensive assault, which was followed by assassination of Al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden, who had financed them since their very existence in Afghanistan. In this juncture, Taliban warnings increased further and vowed to avenge from Afghan government and its foreign allies, particularly US. Ostensibly, their operational strength, however, decreased but will remain as a potential danger to peace and security.
Therefore, in such circumstances, Afghan people and government alike are in need of strong partnership to guarantee their protection and democratic achievements made during past ten years. In lack of such a strategic partner, there is likely that political chaos once again re-emerges and spoils institutions and values for which billions of dollars were spent and thousands of civil and militaries were sacrificed both by international community as well as by Afghan people, right after complete military withdrawal.
To ensure stability, the country needs a strong strategic supporter. Who can be better then US who has been deeply engaged and willing to stay in the country for its vested interests it has?
Current U.S. and Afghanistan, however their essentialities of their objective might be different, but they have visible shared interests, which are enough to be the cause of enactment of a long-term strategic cooperation. Frequently, the issue has been put ahead, and Afghan high-ranking officials, intellectuals, and civil society have largely supported the notion, though there is still ambiguity about the contents of such strategic pact.
But our neighbors have directly or indirectly have showed their irritation with signing of such strategic cooperation between Kabul and Washington. Some of the neighboring countries are deeply worried about legitimacy of long-term presence of US. Afghan officials have not given green signal to her neighbors avoiding such bilateral relation with Washington, and sufficed in ensuring such relation will not endanger their interests in the country. On Monday, May 16, the national security advisor to president, Dr. Spanta clearly stated that signing strategic agreement with US does not need any permission from neighboring countries, because Afghanistan was independent country.