The need for once-and-for-all resolution of Afghan conflict

Monday, 24 April 2017 03:29 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 62 times

The pain and suffering Afghans bear as a result of the protraction of war cannot be reduced by declaring some days of national days of mourning. Sympathy and national days of mourning cannot heal the wounds of families who daily lose their members thanks to the foreign, nasty war. The protraction of war claims the lives of Afghan families in every corner of the country on daily basis, and plunges them into a future full of adversities. The damages of Afghan conflict have reached a point which no longer can be tolerated by Afghan people. Given that fact, efforts are needed to resolve the conflict once and for all. 

 

To that end, the first step is to have the United States clarify its objectives and policy in Afghanistan because as long as American policy remains vague as now and the regional powers see American presence here as a conspiracy against their interests, peace should not be expected. The US has not delivered any of its commitments which it has used to justify its presence in Afghanistan for a decade and a half.

Even with billions of dollars spent and thousands of lives lost in its so called war on terror, the outcome of US presence in Afghanistan is the expansion of terrorism and increase of narcotics. The number of terrorist groups active in Afghanistan now is far more than prior to the US engagement here.  The fear of Afghanistan turning into a terror haven is now very serious, while it did not even exist a few years back. 

The time has come for the Afghan government to hold the US accountable for its actions in Afghanistan on behalf of Afghan people. From now onwards, there should be full clarity as to what kind of American presence serves Afghan interests, and under what conditions. 

The American ‘ask-much-to-have-little’ game against Afghanistan should be immediately stopped. The US intentionally kept Afghanistan dependent on the west for the past 15 years. Despite repeated calls from Afghan side, the United States did not help Afghan National Defense and Security Force (ANDSF) become as strong that can independently defend Afghanistan against terrorists and malignant neighbors. Also, not only it did not bring enough pressure on terror-supporting countries, but also gave them billions of dollars in civilian and military aid, thereby making it almost impossible to trust American intentions in the fight against terrorism.  

Meanwhile, the Afghan government should realize that its responsibility is not to declare national days of mourning, but protect the lives and properties of its people. How a government will be able to provide security for its people if it cannot secure its military bases against enemy infiltration and attacks.