Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

President Obama Keeps His Promise


President Obama Keeps His Promise

Though President Obama has kept his promise of with drawal of the surge troops he had added to the total number of American troops in Afghanistan after his gaining power as president, still most of the members of congress and the people in America are not much satisfied with the number of troops being withdrawn as they expected much more than that. Definitely, most of them are bothering about the cost of wars that America has jumped into for the last ten years. Trillions of dollars have been spent by America in wars both in Iraq and Afghanistan, which American people do not appreciate much as they want more money to be spent for their own people, in order to provide them facilities of life. And the money that has been spent for the wars is basically taxed from them.

The economic crisis that the world has been through recently made many serious people bother about their future even in most of the developed countries of the world. And above all they have been paying in the form of the deaths of their soldiers in the wars as well and that has been very much agonizing for their people. Undoubtedly, they suffered much because of the attacks of 9/11; but the revenge they have been taking afterwards seems to have been very tiring for them. And mostly after the death of Osama bin Laden they consider their revenge to have been taken.

There has been real controversy regarding the drawdown of the American troops from Afghanistan in South Asian countries as well. Especially some of the politicos and the intellectuals in Afghanistan have been debating this issue for the last few months. Some have shown their deep concern regarding large withdrawal, as they argue that the Afghan security forces are not professional and capable enough to shoulder responsibilities themselves. Their preparedness as compared to the terrorist militants is not up to the mark and requires more training and time. Further, they also argue that the political development and administrative improvement of Karzai government still seem immature and incapable of challenging the myriads of problems that the heterogeneous Afghan land possesses. Such people do not seem to worry much about the number of troops that has been announced by President Obama.

On the other hand there are thinkers who believe that there must be larger withdrawal of American forces from Afghan land as they want to see the authorities being transferred to Afghan forces quickly, because in their point of view the Afghan forces, if not in the perfect position to guarantee peace and tranquility in the region can to a satisfactory level control the situation and through a process can learn to do so. Karzai government also seems to favor considerable withdrawal of American forces as it wants the authorities to be transferred to Afghan forces as soon as possible. Recently, President Karzai has been in a controversy with foreign troops regarding the operations that resulted in the deaths of civilians.

In one of his recent opinions regarding the foreign troops he even went to the extent to say that the foreign troops are in pursuit of their own national interests in Afghanistan. So, the withdrawal announced by President Obama can up to the expectations of the government that has been waiting so earnestly to take the charge completely in its hand. Though it has welcomed the American announcement of the withdrawal but in fact it considers this number negligible and fears American intentions to further its long-term presence in Afghanistan. The neighboring countries also seem to be in the favor of withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. Pakistan, India, China, Russia and Iran - all seem to be in the favor of large withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan. Pakistan and Iran, in particular, have been irritated much by the presence of America in Afghanistan; Pakistan, because it has received terrible influences of the war against terrorism on its land as well and Iran, because it considers the whole 9/11 scenario and the resultant war against terrorism as the conspiracy of America in order to extend its imperialism. In short, all the South Asian countries seem to be inclined towards more participation of regional countries in the South Asian matters.

Undoubtedly, the number of the troops that has been announced is less than many expected, but it should not be more than the announced, and it even seems a bit more once we have a thorough analysis of the objective conditions in Afghanistan. Definitely, the ground is not ready in Afghanistan for hasty withdrawal. There is no doubt that Obama administration has to face criticism but it has been able to confirm the withdrawal of the number that it had promised. The withdrawal of 30,000 surge troops that were increased by Obama Administration after coming in to power has been planned to be called back till the summer of the next year.

But, recently there has been a demand by many of the members of congress and common people in America that the number of the withdrawn forces should be about 30,000 till the end of this year, which now after the announcement of President Obama does not seem possible. On the other hand, there are people who doubt that Obama would be able to have inclination of considerable number of voters in his favor in the elections to come next year. How the situation turns out for Obama in the election is a different discussion, but it is for sure he has been quiet careful while making this decision, and it keeps in consideration, to a certain extent, the demands of the American military command in Afghanistan, if not the requirements of the objective conditions in the country.

With the announcement of the number of troops President Obama has also mentioned that the second phase of transition would be peace negotiations with the Taliban leaders who agree to isolate Al-Qaida and accept the constitution of Afghanistan. But how would that be possible is left for a controversial debate. There are many complications with that process; definitely one cannot expect the President's general speech to include all those specifications but as a matter of fact American and Karzai governments both seem to be ambiguous about that.

And it must also be included that the second phase of transition must include the formation of proper political leadership and political representation of the people of Afghanistan as a whole in a true democratic system. Any political solution resulting in the dominancy of only a single faction (based on race, religion, nation, caste, color or status) of a society can really bring much harm to diverse Afghan land. Authority given on the basis of slight majority is not what a true democracy demands. A true democracy always provides representation to all the sects, nations, races and factions of a society and holds justice as the superior code of political and social conduct, which Afghan government lacks at the moment.

Dilawar Sherzai is the permanent writer of the Daily outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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