Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, October 20th, 2018

“Transition Doesn’t Mean Disengagement”


“Transition Doesn’t  Mean Disengagement”

The weary war against terrorism that was launched after the incident of 9/11, brought with itself different sorts of influences and impacts on the lives of people in Afghanistan, South Asian region and U.S. in particular and the world in general. The war, though has done much to topple down the Al-Qaida favoring reign of Taliban and has been able to target the mastermind of the incidents of 9/11 - Osama Bin Laden, it has brought with itself a pile of controversies.

Even, bearing a lot of medals on its chest, this war is considered to have proved very much lethal in some other ways. The resources that have been used in this war have not been considered to have hit the bull's eye and the very reason for which the war was started is yet to be achieved even after almost ten years, when the involved nations of the world seem to be reluctant to continue the war and deciding to drag it towards a conclusion.

The most important pretexts to the war were to put an end to the terrorism in Afghanistan and help it build strong political and economic systems so that it can guarantee its survival on the modern concept of democracy.

Both the pretexts are yet to be realized to full extent and the international security forces led by U.S. troops have already announced that they would be withdrawn completely till the end of 2014. Neither the terrorist networks have been eradicated from the region, nor the political and economic systems in Afghanistan are standing on strong footings that can be left alone without much attention and support from international community.

The phenomenon of terrorism has the capacity to grow into strong position from where it is today and can really threaten the region and the world as a whole. Further, this phenomenon is no more an issue only in Afghanistan and has reached to the neighboring countries as well.

Pakistan, in this regard, can be named specially. The rise of terrorism in Pakistan has had close connections with the socio-political situation in Afghanistan and even if the situation in Afghanistan is made better in terms of peace and tranquility it is bound to be effected by the changes of phenomenon of terrorism in neighboring Pakistan unless it is dealt as a regional matter.

Moreover, the growing insecurity in Pakistan is a threat by itself, as well. The fear that the nuclear arsenal in Pakistan can fall in the hands of terrorist organizations has been mentioned by international community on various. occasions. Therefore, the threat of terrorism remains real and intact even after almost ten years of the war against terrorism.

On the other hand the democratization of the political system in Afghanistan is still immature and needs to go a long way before it can reach to a reliable position from where it can start a journey towards real democracy that can penetrate to the grass root level and can deal with the diversity existing in the country.

Further, any political agreement with Taliban still remains unattainable and the prospects of the Bonn II conference that is going to be held till the end of the ongoing year also do not seem very much optimistic.

Include to all these concerns and ambiguities the untamed corruption in the country that has been paralyzing the governance system and has been hindering the way of the funds and supports from international community to be spent for the welfare and betterment of the common people of Afghanistan.

Rather, it has been transferring the money, in some way or the other to those who, directly or indirectly support Taliban and terrorist networks in the country. International community in this regard has shown concerns on various.

Occasions but tangible measures that can really introduce strong system of accountability are yet to be introduced. The economic system has not reached to the level of independence and largely relies on the presence of the foreign troops in some way or the other and serious investment and economic activities are yet to achieve confidence because of shaky situation of markets and the law and order situation.

Though international community has promised that it will be supporting the country even after 2014, the economic conditions in the developed nations of the world do not suggest so. They have been going through economic crisis and in few years to come would have to concentrate on their economies to a large extent to compensate for the crisis.

But, whether the international community is going to keep supporting Afghanistan financially and militarily largely depends on the decision of the U.S. authorities. Currently, U.S. has been making sure that it would remain engaged in Afghanistan even after 2014.

Currently, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks the U.S. ambassador to Kabul, Ryan Crocker has said, "We are and will remain committed to Afghanistan and the region. We are in this for the long haul.

We are transitioning security responsibility to Afghan forces, but transition does not mean disengagement." Talking about the concerns the people of U.S. have been raising about the war in Afghanistan, he has mentioned, "Some back home have asked why we are still here.

It's been a long fight and people are tired. The reason is simple. Al-Qaida is not here in Afghanistan, and that is because we are. We're here so that there is never again another 9/11 coming from Afghan soil." He has further mentioned that U.S. and Afghanistan are working on a strategic partnership document that would define their relationship well beyond 2014.

Definitely, the war in Afghanistan has to be ended decisively and that is what the circumstances in Afghanistan and the neighboring countries are demanding. Both the eradication of terrorism and political and economic stability of country have to be made sure before the war is concluded.

Yes, there have been many sacrifices given in this war so far, both in terms of human life and resources, but with a little more effort the outcome of the war can be quite different from what it can turn into if left in the way it is. This war has to be concluded with the victory of peace loving forces against the terror networks, and this is the ethical demand of the war, if there happens to be any ethics in war.

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

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