Clarity in ties with US Afghanistan’s fundamental need

Sunday, 04 June 2017 03:23 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 262 times

Ambiguity in US policies and objectives in Afghanistan or at least its lack of coordination with Afghan side is viewed as the main factor for ongoing violence in the country. Even after a decade and a half of American presence in Afghanistan, Afghans mostly don’t know whether to call the United States a friend or frenemy because it has been acting against objectives it has announced during the invasion of Afghanistan, or which it uses now to prolong its presence in Afghanistan. American presence has neither led to the elimination of terrorists nor has it protected Afghanistan from the evil and disgrace of narcotics. These are the very two key objectives US administrations are using to justify their engagement in Afghanistan. 

 

Being mostly unilateral and one that only protects American interests, the US attitude towards Afghanistan created suspicions of the intentions of the superpower which gradually escalated even to a level where the previous Afghan government refused to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) without receiving clear guarantees from the United States. However, after the disputed 2014 president elections, the National Unity Government, which owed the United States a favor for its mediation in the electoral dispute, unconditionally signed the security pact.

Although the government has turned a blind eye to any kind of arbitrary actions by the United States over the last three years in the hope that its attitude would change, now the government seems to be feeling hopeless about any improvement in American behavior. In a recent development, Afghanistan is set to start high level consultations with the United States under the security pact. In a phone call, Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar has asked his American counterpart to initiate high level bilateral deliberations to protect Afghan people. 

Clarity in Afghan-American ties is a fundamental need. Unless there is a full clarification in bilateral relations between the two countries, Afghanistan will remain the main victim of the so called war on terrorism, whose end is not yet in sight. Because of this significance, government leaders should clarify, and let the Afghan nation know about the future of Afghanistan’s bilateral relations with the United States, including the security accord, before the situation of the country further aggravates and spins out of control.