Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, March 21st, 2018

Return of American Troops


Return of American Troops

Now that Osama has been killed, is American troops' presence in Afghanistan baseless? American people have already celebrated their victory in the War against Terrorism. They believe they have successfully avenged the destruction in their country by targeting the main character behind the incidence of 9/11. Further, they already seem tired of losing both human resource and dollars in the mountainous expansions of Afghanistan.

Therefore, they have every right of pressurizing their government for withdrawing their troops from Afghanistan. But that doesn't seem to be an appropriate conclusion of the war they had initiated. The war that they had initiated was called as "War against Terror" not "War against Osama", therefore, as long as the terror reigns in Afghanistan, Americans cannot be said to have won the war; though apparently they have a remarkable victory.

Since the appearance of American troops here in Afghanistan, distinct endeavors have been made regarding the eradication of terrorism and Talibanization. Taliban, who were once the destiny makers of the country, are now compelled to take refuge in rocky hideouts. A democratic government, though very naive and inarticulate, has been established in the capital. The NGOtic arrangements with indefinite investment of resources have made the country seem developing. Afghan forces have been trained and equipped sufficiently. Yet, the concerns remain. Osama may have died but his offspring in the form of lunatic extremists still exist in organized groups with their capabilities to multiply and terrorize.

The withdrawal of American troops has to start from July this year, as had been promised by American President Barrack Obama. This withdrawal would be gradual and end till 2014. This is how the plan is supposed to proceed. But there are many questions that have to be answered before this plan is put to action. The incapability of Afghan forces to deal with the security concerns is the greatest of them. The Kandahar Assault is one of the examples; apart from that the necessary institutionalization of the forces has yet to be completed. The professional requirements are missing so far.

There have been many occasions when the recruited soldiers have left the force without any hesitation. Further, it is difficult to guarantee that the forces who are trained to be the guardian of the citizens, will not be misusing their power against the same citizens. And the possibility that there would be groups from amongst the same men who would be having soft corners in their hearts for Taliban is also not negligible. So, American and NATO forces are not only to train and equip the forces but they really have to keep these concerns in their minds before they are ready to leave the country. They really have to do much regarding the professionalism and institutionalization of the forces they train.

The so-called democratic government is not at all capable to guarantee security, stability and consistency. There are many questions related to the competence of the present government regarding administration and political dynamics that have sprung out the naïve policies of the government herself. The government has not been able to have a consistent cabinet. It has mostly depended on ad-hoc members, which has harmed the executive capabilities of the government to a large extent. The parliament is not able to address the dynamics regarding the nationalist sentiments and tribal arrangements in the country. Further, the government has not been able to have a consistent policy regarding the treatment of Taliban in the country. The soft corner shown every now and then to the Taliban have really given a leakage to their inhumane intentions to find a refuge within the government hierarchy.

Another important concern that remains un-dealt is future of strategic war that Americans have started after their arrival in Afghanistan. America, Afghanistan and Pakistan triangle seems to be worrying the politics of South Asia to an irritating extent. Pakistan has had an imperative role, though sometimes negative, regarding the War against Terrorism. Americans have always wanted to deal with the issue of Taliban militant on both sides of the border with proper co-operation from Pakistan.

They have also been successful in compelling Pakistan for carrying out military operations against the militants in their own lands, mostly the ones bordering Afghanistan. But the discovery of Osama from Pakistani land has brought the role of Pakistan against terrorism to serious questions. At the moment the co-operation between Pakistan and America is standing on the verge of uncertainty on intelligence, military and diplomatic level.

Pakistan seems annoyed by the unilateral operation carried out by Americans on Pakistani land to kill Osama. Further, they also seem much irritated by the drone attacks carried out on their land by Americans. Recent firing on American helicopters near the border, with American helicopters answer with fires on the Pakistani troops also shows the intensity of the uncertainty between the two.

Though, at the present, American Senator, John Carry's diplomatic tour of Pakistan, but it doesn't seem to cool the heat that has been intensifying for the last few months. "Who is responsible for aggravating ties between Pakistan and America and Afghanistan?" is another discussion but it is a fact that a deteriorated relation between Afghanistan and Pakistan does not guarantee a secure future on both the lands. Therefore, this issue has to be sort out before America decides to leave Afghanistan. Whether they bring Pakistan on the table through pressure or prudence is totally up to them, but the importance of a serious talk among the three is really crucial for the peace and tranquility in future because the prevailing uncertainty, if prolonged, can really jeopardize the endeavors that have been carried out so far.

Though Americans are thriving to withdraw their forces from Afghanistan and Obama, pressurized by the public opinion, is likely to start the process from coming July but the facts indicate that the time is not too ripe for the Americans to return. Americans while coming to Afghanistan had promised to the international world that they would not use Afghanistan as only a battle ground but would strive to put an end to the religious extremism and militancy, and would guarantee a peaceful future to the people of Afghanistan.

Undoubtedly, they have done much but still the War has not been won. The factors mentioned above – consistent, competent and capable government, Talibanization, the professionalism of Afghan forces and strong strategic ties among America, Afghanistan and Pakistan, have to be addressed seriously. The War against Terrorism has been fought very well, and it has to be ended well, as well.

The writer is a new growing columnist of the daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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