Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, April 20th, 2018

No Blunder is Expected

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No Blunder is Expected
There are questions on everyone’s mind in Afghanistan. These questions pertain to the withdrawal of the United States and its allies from Afghanistan in the coming few years. Reasons for why there are so many talks about withdrawal of international forces are still quite ambiguous to and have created jumble for the people of Afghanistan. Is the intention of US to pull out forces from Afghanistan because the objectives of counterterrorism war have been achieved and Afghanistan has been put on the path to peace, prosperity and development secured by Afghan security forces? Or are the US and its allies seeing themselves as becoming underdog in this war, want to get rid of Afghanistan by withdrawing their forces abruptly without considering ground realities? The answer to both the above questions is ‘No!’ The countries that have sent their military forces to Afghanistan under the NATO have set various dates for withdrawing their forces. Netherland pulled out its forces last year and Canada has announced that it will withdraw the bulk of its troops from Afghanistan in 2011 – for instances. However, the general idea about the drawdown of international forces from Afghanistan and the transfer of defense responsibilities to the Afghan security forces is that it will kick off this year and will be completed until 2014. President Hamid Karzai has already made the first regions to be handed over completely to the Afghan security forces known to the people. It is no doubt, welcoming. But serious doubts on the capabilities of our national army and police persist and there is no guarantee that they will be able to defend these regions against suicide/roadside bombings, targeted killings and other sorts of offensive by Taliban insurgents. The transfer of security responsibilities in the first seven areas can be conceived a test of competency of Afghan security forces. If the security situation in these areas further deteriorates, this will put the success of security transition process in serious doubts. The soldiers of Afghanistan have still a long way ahead to nurture and become a competent force, although the yearly budget being spent on them is significant as compared to the defense budgets of many countries in the regions. Only for 2011, the US has planned to spend more $11 billion dollars on the training and equipping of Afghan security forces. In the post Taliban Afghanistan, Afghan National Army has appeared as the most reputable organization that is deemed to be free of corruption, bias, ethnic/religious prejudice and other negative factors that have had roles in destroying the unity of Afghan people. Afghan National Army is the sole source of hope for the future defense of Afghanistan and are always ready to give sacrifices for defense of their county against enemies. There is no doubt. But this does not mean they are ready to protect us independently. Keeping in view the capabilities and equipments in the hands of Afghan security forces, one cannot say with surety that they would fully able to defend Afghanistan, once NATO is completely out. The security sector still has to overcome serious hindrances. The international efforts of the last decade have fallen short to make the security sector self-dependent against insurgents. The capacity of Afghan National Army and Police, technically speaking, cannot reach a point until 2014 where they can stand on their own against the enemies of peace and prosperity of Afghanistan. It is now quite clear to everyone that security forces of Afghanistan, on which the whole transition process depends, lack equipments, training and proficiency required to protect and guard the life of Afghans. With Afghan security forces weak and incompetent, the US does not seem to be willing to leave Afghanistan and make the environment feasible for the return of Taliban and Al-Qaida and keep waiting for the incident such as that of 9/11 to happen. It would be not only drastically dangerous for Afghanistan but also for the region and whole world. The world does not expect such a blunder from a super power. What we are hearing from international community is encouraging. The signals are still green. From the statements of high authorities belonging to the NATO member countries, one can easily judge that Afghanistan will not be left alone and contribution to promote peace, security, reconstruction and development will continue even beyond 2014. Afghans have always welcomed the international community’s support aimed at securing their life and putting their country on the path to prosperity. Also, the people of Afghanistan hope the international efforts will continue until Afghanistan stands on its own feet. The US will also not be leaving Afghanistan alone because of the rumors about its failure in the Afghan war. In the war against insurgency, prominent countries of the world are giving a hand to the US and failure in Afghanistan seems quit improbable. There is no doubt that serious concerns among the Afghan population exist as the security is getting worsened and the process of handing over the security responsibilities to Afghan forces has already been announced to begin soon. But consistent and hope giving efforts are underway to resolve the issues in Afghanistan as they has deep impacts on the regions and the world. War in Afghanistan is in no nations benefit. It is costing men, money and time to all the countries involved in it. The sooner the issue is resolved the better it would be for the world. Afghanistan is in dire need of positive contribution of its neighbors and international community. 2014 does not mean an end to the international support for Afghanistan. It is a new beginning point for us from where we must start taking major responsibilities of our country in our hands, stand on our own feet and reduce the burden Afghanistan has put on the shoulders of international community.

Mohd. Ahsan is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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