Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Two Sets of National Interests but not Conflicting

In his most recent diatribe against international community, President Hamid Karzai said that the world nations are here in Afghanistan and using our country to follow their own national interests. It is clear that the countries are involved in Afghan mission not out of pure ethical principles alone. National interests do guide the policies, strategies and conduct of states/countries in their relations with other states/countries. The importance and determining role of national interests could be construed from what Duke Henri de Rohan said, "Princes rule peoples, and interests dominate the princes."

In late 2001, Afghanistan and international community embarked on a joint journey of fight against terrorists and to stabilize the country. After a decade of joint operations, cooperation and international assistance to Afghanistan, now president Karzai has begun to analyze the presence of international community in the country from national interests point of view. It should be said that there is no doubt that the national interests of allied countries in the war against terrorism guide their presence in Afghanistan but it is equally important to know that their interests do not conflict with those of Afghanistan otherwise the people would not welcome and support international community about a decade ago. The two sets of national interests - those of Afghanistan and its international allies - may not be fully identical but they are complementary.

To say in public speech that international community follows their national interests cannot reduce the importance of international community in Afghanistan in the fight against the terrorists and Taliban militants - the satellite branch of broader Al-Qaeda network- that continue to kill innocent people, burn down schools, destroy the very asphalted roads funded by the international community and deprive Afghan children of education, which is obligatory for both male and female Muslims according to our sublime faith of Islam. It is, therefore, important to mention that the president will never be called a hero if he loses the opportunity rendered available after the presence of international community.

That is what the U.S ambassador Karl Eikenberry told students and professors at Herat University, "When we hear ourselves being called occupiers and worse, and our generous aid programs dismissed as totally ineffective and the source of all corruption, our pride is offended and we begin to lose our inspiration to carry on."

It is expected that the president's speech should represent what Afghan people want. It is clear that they want to continue the joint mission and do not want to bite the hands that feed them.