Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Afghanistan - The End Game

President Hamid Karzai has a mammoth task ahead of him. It is extremely unlikely that he will be able to convince the 'Loya Jirga' (Grand Council of Elders) to keep US troops in Afghanistan after 2014. The Afghans are fiercely independent people, they never like any foreign troops on their soil and no foreign troops have left Afghanistan victorious of late.

Many members of the Jirga are those who fought to remove Soviet troops from Afghanistan. So, it will be a hard pill for them to swallow to allow American troops to stay on for any length of time.

On the other hand Karzai has laid out conditions for the Americans that for them to stay on, they must end the deadly night raids, which result in the arbitrary killing of Afghans thought to be Taliban. The intelligence flow is so poor and erratic in Afghanistan that quite often the victims turn out to be innocent civilians - Karzai's cousin included. US may agree to this condition, but the bigger obstacle will be US demand for exemption from prosecution. Trigger happy as some of US troops are (including disgraceful conduct of soldiers in killing innocent Afghans and chopping their fingers), Iraqis did not agree to such an exemption, nor are the Afghans likely to.

The better course for US and Karzai would be to stop distinguishing between Taliban factions and bring all Taliban groups as well as regional leaders to the negotiating table, work out a formula for peaceful transition, preserving women's right to education, work etc. followed by fresh elections to elect a truly representative Government, so that foreign troops can leave Afghanistan in peace and for good.

Keeping troops back for training purposes is nonsensical. Afghan don't need any training to use weapons, they are born with it. The fact that Taliban have given way better equipped foreign troop a run for their money, shows they don't need training by foreign troops.

What Afghanistan desperately needs is the civilian administration structures. There is a need to develop an Administration System, Education, Legal and judicial system etc. This is where foreign countries can help, preferably those that did not taken part in Afghan war, so there is no ill will towards them.

Karzai lays out conditions for US partnership - Central & South Asia - Al Jazeera English


Mohiudin said...

True, civillian administration is needed desperately in Afghanistan at this time, more than anything else, to meet their basic needs and necessities. Poor, innocent Afghanis have already suffered a lot.

Ajaz Haque said...

I agree Mohiudin.