Troop surge cannot resolve Afghan imbroglio

Monday, 21 May 2018 03:13 Written by  Read 87 times

All the observers of the war in Afghanistan agree that Afghan conflict doesn’t have a military solution. Even the parties to the conflict also echo a similar view, but in a bid to play around with public perception. Instead of taking the initiative to explore a peaceful settlement of the conflict, they are playing a blame game accusing each other of misusing the slogans of peace. The Taliban blame Americans and Afghan government for lack of will to talk peace, while the government blasts the rebels for not having the authority to come to the negotiating table. The Taliban have set the pullout of all American troops from Afghanistan as their precondition to engage in any peace talks, but the United States says its military presence is dependent on conditions other than timetables, which means that American troops will not withdraw from Afghanistan as long as the Taliban continue to fight.
Afghan government is caught in the middle. Neither can it impose Taliban’s conditions on Americans nor can convince the Taliban to come to the negotiating table prior to the withdrawal of American troops, a scenario that has so far botched up all government peace efforts. The problem is that both Afghan government and people are not that strong to stand out against the policies and conspiracies of other sides. The failure of peace endeavors has allowed the United States to insist on military solution, something that gives the Taliban a pretext to justify their ongoing violent campaign in the country.
Americans don’t completely rule out peace talks, but they are not a priority for them. They emphasize that the Taliban should first be crushed on the battlefield, and then come the peace parleys from a position of strength, an estimation that is far from realization now. The US and NATO failed to drag the Taliban to the negotiating table with over 150,000 international troops, how it will be possible to achieve the goal with a tenth of that force.
The experience of almost last two decades proved that foreign troop surge cannot put an end to the Afghan war. Thus, if Washington still has no appetite for restoring peace in Afghanistan, other NATO member states should learn a lesson from the past and avoid deploying more boots to Afghanistan. Now that the US has ramped up pressure on NATO member states, including UK, to send more troops to Afghanistan, these countries should earnestly put the peaceful settlement of Afghan conflict on the table. Instead of capitulating to American pomposity, they should give preference to the aspirations of their own citizens, as well as of the peace-thirsty Afghan nation.

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