Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, May 24th, 2020

Withdrawal Urgency

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Withdrawal Urgency

There has been a kind of exaggerated optimism by the international and Afghan authorities regarding the post-withdrawal Afghanistan and the security arrangements the country will be left with. Afghan security forces are thought to be capable enough to guarantee peace and stability in the region against the growing terrorism. However, there are real concerns in this regard and can be best understood after the objective and unbiased analysis of the situation.

International community involved in Afghanistan favors the 'optimistic' notion because they would have a better claim to justify their withdrawal from the undecided war against terrorism;while, the stakeholders in the government and around it favor the notion because it would be left with greater authority and role in the post-withdrawal scenario.

Nonetheless, the weariness about the war in Afghanistan is really becoming evident with each passing day. The most can be seen within the attitude of decision makers and troops of international community engaged in Afghanistan.

Most of them believe that earlier withdrawal would help their countries extract themselves out of the situation in Afghanistan, which would be a better approach for pacifying the growing anti-involvement public opinion and better future of Afghanistan; however, it is not sure whether a "better future" would be achieved while there has not been any solution for the very basic conflicts that have the capacity to give rise to clashes.

French troops, as an indication of weariness in the war, are to be withdrawn by the end of the ongoing year and there are concerns that their withdrawal would create a security gap. The unilateral decision by France to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan before the schedule announced by NATO, came when FranciosHollande was elected as the President of France.

Even before he was elected he had promised that French troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan if he was elected as president. In fact, the policy formed an integral part of his election campaign. Though, France's decision to withdraw earlier was criticized by US and NATO, it has persisted to his decision.

NATO's credibility for not being able to exert its decision on the member states was also questioned but nothing could shake the determination of the FranciosHollande. Moreover, the death of four French soldiers in Kapisa province on Saturday, June 9, made the French President to consider even speedier withdrawal.

And now, French troops' withdrawal will start from the Kapisa province next month. There are concerns that the earlier withdrawal of the troops will create a security vacuum in the area and may even affect the overall war against terrorism. It can also make the other involved countries to consider their earlier withdrawal.

Afghan Ministry of Defense with hyperbolic sanguinity said on Sunday, June 10, that the withdrawal will not affect the security situation as the Afghan troops are capable enough to shoulder the security responsibilities on their own. The spokesman for the Ministry, Mohammad ZahirAzimi, said, "Considering the capabilities of our forces, there will be no security gap as French troops are leaving."

Ignoring the fact altogether that there would not be any impact on the security after the withdrawal of French troops is not in accordance to the demands of time. There are clear indications that the security situation is deteriorating throughout the country. The proper approach at this instance is to accept the challenge with its entire reality and carryout measures to overcome it.

Neglecting the truth so as to give false hope is not recommended for Afghanistan at such a crucial juncture, but that is what Afghan officials have been depending on.

They have been trying to veil the incapacities of the government through such claims and want to prove to the world their efficiency and sincerity. However, their efficiency and sincerity are already known to every keen memory.

Keeping in mind the history and socio-political scenario in Afghanistan, one can conclude that the current relative stability has been earned after a lot of hard work. So, it must be cared for and all the indications of worsening of situation in the country must be dealt with, seriously. In the ongoing transition period there are indications of the worsening situation which must be considered as harbinger of decisive changes in near future and appropriate measures must be carried out to guide them towards better destinations.

The situation of peace and tranquility in Afghanistan and withdrawal of international troops are important matters regarding the future of Afghanistan. Though the entire peace and tranquility cannot be thought of being based on the international troops yet it would be of great importance for Afghanistan's future strategy for security, if the announced withdrawal schedule is followed properly and necessary measures are carried out to equip and train Afghan forces before the process is complete. The responsibility is not to transfer the security to Afghan forces; it, rather, is to transfer the security responsibility on the shoulder that can support it.

It is also necessary to gauge the challenges faced by allycountries to pursue the war in Afghanistan. They cannot keep on guarding us and giving us the assistance for indefinite period of time. They have their own problems and concerns as well and they have to deal with them appropriately. The popularity of the war in their own countries is diminishing to a large extent.

The public opinion is getting critical of the budget being spent out of the country, while the people suffer the aftershocks of the international economic crisis. Moreover, even after many years of efforts, the situation in Afghanistan does not seem to be getting better as much as expected. The role that the international community had expected from the Afghan government does not seem to be in line with the expectations. Most of the efforts have been undone because of the incapacity or intentional negligence of the Afghan authorities to perform.

There have been many examples of corruption and inappropriate utilization of resources that have made the international community dubious about the improvement in the situation. Most of the involved countries now believe that the war in Afghanistan can never be won, so it would be better to pursue the exit strategy strictly.

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

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