Monday, September 12, 2016

Afghanistan Since 9/11: Making Progress Amid Violence – Analysis

Fifteen years ago, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 happened directly from the complete state failure in Afghanistan. This followed the negligence by the international community of Afghanistan’s post-Cold War stabilisation and reconstruction, after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from the country in 1989. For a decade (1979-1989), in order to defeat communism, the United States and its allies effectively capitalised on Afghans’ firm determination to free their country from the occupation of the former Soviet Union. When this strategic goal was achieved, Afghanistan was pushed back into America’s foreign policy blind-spot.

In the following decade from early 1991 to 2001, several of Afghanistan’s neighbours, which lacked a shared vision for a secure future together, filled the vacuum left by the West. Pakistan led the fragmentation of former Afghan resistance fighters, whom the country fully exploited to dismantle Afghanistan’s strong army, air force, civilian institutions, and key economic infrastructure. In an effort to end Afghans’ any hope of rebuilding their country, Pakistan created and launched the so-called “Taliban movement.” This mercenary force oppressed Afghans, particularly women and girls, while gradually isolating Afghanistan from the rest of the international community.

The Taliban also harboured Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama Bin Laden, who masterminded in Afghanistan the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. Immediately following this tragedy, which killed more than 3000 Americans — including many Muslims — the international community, led by the US, re-engaged in Afghanistan. This brought an end to the tyranny of the Taliban, and ushered in the slow but ongoing transformation of Afghanistan.

Following the end of the transition process in 2014 when most of international forces withdrew from Afghanistan, the Afghan government expected a spike in exported and imposed violence from outside. Intelligence and military elements in Pakistan had calculated that by escalating violence across Afghanistan, the newly established NUG would dramatically weaken and most likely collapse, in the face of an economic depression, a die-hard enemy, and an under-resourced army. Indeed, these strategic weaknesses were caused by the abrupt withdrawal of foreign forces and the breakdown of a rentier economy, which they had fostered in Afghanistan since 2009.

In spite of systemic weaknesses and slow provision or unavailability of military enablers, Afghan forces have done the lion’s share of fighting the global war on terrorism. Unfortunately, however, this isn’t recognised adequately. Afghanistan’s partners should take note of the fact that once regional terrorists and their transnational affiliates have regained a firm foothold in Afghanistan, they would immediately turn their attention elsewhere. This is exactly what they had been doing in the second half of the 1990s when Afghanistan was completely neglected by the international community. Of course, it was the tragedy of 9/11 that effectively ended international negligence of Afghanistan’s continued need to stabilise and develop on a sustainable basis.

In the final analysis, winning or losing in Afghanistan squarely depends on whether the country’s allies and friends would actually deliver on the commitments they have repeatedly made to institutionalise peace and democracy in the country. If they do so, Afghanistan would steadily grow as a sovereign, democratic country at peace internally and at peace with its neighbors. The Afghan government would continue to focus on win-win objectives towards a region where every nation needs to be secure and prosper, through regional economic cooperation. This is the world in which we live today, a world which is increasingly interdependent and where zero-sum designs have proven a failure and a disaster. Sincere, results-oriented cooperation is the call of every nation in the region and beyond. And Afghanistan stands ready to do its part for the good of all. - Read More, eurasiareview

Afghanistan Since 9/11: Making Progress Amid Violence – Analysis


Post a Comment

<< Home