Afghanistan On The Brink – OpEd


Rare is the country that has upheld as various blows, and such troublesome blows, as has Afghanistan since its modern foundation as a distinct political unit in 1747. Ye the country has managed to survive and to hold the sovereignty and territorial integrity, despite numbers of wars and invasions and swings between radical ideological miens, amplifying from tribalist regard system to communism and Islamic medievalism. It is the only country in the world that has experienced military occupation or intervention by Great Britain (twice), and Soviet Union in 1980s and the United States of America and its allies (since 2001). It is the only country that has been experiencing a continuous proxy wars of big powers of the world for five decades, a country that has never experienced a frequent stable ideological and political structure and insight for a single term of a ruler in the last century, yet it survived. 

The horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington in 2001, masterminded in Afghanistan made the world to bring Afghanistan on the front page of the world politics. United States government took its allies in confidence to demolish the perpetrators of those attacks. The ideologically and traditionally divided Afghans found themselves under new challenges for development as a result of-course with the commitments of the international community this time. But unfortunately, a modern way of colonization under the guise of cooperation has made 34 governments called PRTs, which awakened the central government in a result. The three very important institutions for any government namely the Army, Police and Judiciary were taken on training board by different countries with different scope in particular the U.S.A, Germany and Italy. 

However, Afghanistan started building its defense and security forces right in the middle of worlds biggest war in the country, the recruited officers and soldiers after few months short courses were joining the battlefield, where the country was busy on the infrastructure, development and internal political rivalry on the other hand. Things began to turn when the United States invade Iraq and Afghanistan was made secondary, which was the biggest strategic blunder. 

Although, in his election campaign, Obama had promised to do more for Afghanistan, both to end the war and to assist develop the nation. In spite of Obama’s overarching commitments to Afghanistan, the U.S. military perused his program to cruel fair one thing: more troops, which had been ridiculous whereas the Iraq war was at its stature. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton helped the military by continuously siding with the generals. She concurred with the pentagon on each major decision on Afghanistan, instead of tune in to her advisor and mentor, Richard Holbrooke. Holbrooke contradicted the troop buildup and pushed for settling the Pakistan problem, arranging with the Taliban, and helping Afghanistan with its economy. Not at all like the military, he did not see overcoming the Taliban as a choice. The White House snubbed Holbrooke, indeed in spite of the fact that his views were to some degree similar to those of Obama’s advisors. But they abhorred him, and Holbrooke could never get a one-on-one meeting with the president, Obama seemed to exercise no authority over his own staff, and here things begun getting more regrettable. Without a doubt Karzai presented an enormous problem for Obama. Once the dear of the West and a reasonable, moderate leader who seemed to have a great chance of taking Afghanistan out of a thirty-year long war, Karzai had misplaced his way. He had been in the palace but isolated within the administration for quite a long.

Amid the 2009 presidential race, Karzai was persuaded that the Americans wanted to get rid of him, indeed as he unyieldingly denied to correct his own failures; corruption within the top positions of his government. He regularly told top U.S. authorities that of the three “main enemies” he faced-the United States, the international community, and the Taliban-he would side to begin with Taliban first. It was barely an articulation to win over Western soldiers who were fighting the Taliban. Ghani was already in the queue, he had been made a minister of finance, dean of Kabul university, candidate for the UN secretary general position and brought to lead the transitioned process from ISAF to ANSF launched in 2011, so he was being prepared, and finally brought to power in 2014, where he failed. Ghani mostly relayed on his Western Afghans who are neither well educated nor have a political insight and/or have a clue about the Afghan culture and norms, but badly involved in corruption which further paved the road towards an isolation in and out side Afghanistan. 

The United States failed to make Pakistan cooperating the way it was needed; United States could not put the required pressure on Pakistan to use its influence on Taliban for the peace process that had taken at least three years. Finally, the United States directly signed an agreement with the Taliban which of course lacks the legitimacy and enforcement. However, currently Afghanistan faces a critical situation, the entire world watches and wait, most regional and international media outlets portraits the country as the drowning Titanic. But the defense and security forces that have been fighting the biggest war all alone since 2014 except some air support from the international forces, can defend this incredible country. The children of 9 and 10 went to school the next morning where they had been injured and lost 100s of their fellows in a terrorist attack on their school just a day before, but for them education prevails, a mother who has lost her three young sons fighting against terrorism proudly sends her fourth one to the army as well. This is not the country of just those few came from the west and are in power today and/or those known as warlords, but of the 40 million people, who have already seen all the ups and downs and have the potential and commitment to make this country goes forward, this country and nation will survive, Afghanistan will never be ruled by extremists again. 

*Najibullah Azad is a politician, lawyer, advocate, consultant, researcher and founder and leader of the Bawar Movement, a political party, in Kabul. He was once the spokesperson to President Ashraf Ghani, he can be reached at: [email protected] , @NajibullahAzad 

One thought on “Afghanistan On The Brink – OpEd

  • July 10, 2021 at 3:59 am

    What surprisingly different view relative to what Americans are currently being told/sold. I welcome this fresh perspective particularly because US State and the reigning press are not to be found to at least acknowledge the possibility.
    Do the Afghan people have the wherewithal to resist the Taliban, maybe not in the Western mindset but as this article suggests in a purely Afghan way.


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