Saturday, December 16

Why The Nato Should Not Immediately Withdraw Troops From Afghanistan

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As we know, Afghanistan was invaded by the NATO on the pretext of the 9/11 attacks. The Taliban was accused of hiding Osama Bin Laden and when they refused to hand him over unless proof was provided, the NATO invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from power and ousted them for good.

Now after the Taliban was ousted, NATO and its allies engaged in what we call “nation-building activities”. It started off by establishing a democratic government and elected Mr. Hamid Karzai as the president of Afghanistan. Then it moved on to the economic reconstruction of Afghanistan.

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The economic reconstruction of Afghanistan turned out to be a tough job for the Allies as the economy of Afghanistan was completely wrecked and there was very little scope for improvement. The preceding Taliban regime had completely destroyed the country, especially economically. The Taliban used the income of Afghanistan in strengthening their military capabilities and funding Islamic terrorism all around the world. They provided funds to Islamic groups all over the world. They hosted many high level terrorists and provided them with shelter and hospitality. They set up new training camps for future Jihadis and provided them with all necessary supplies and material.

Several years of war had completely wrecked the infrastructure of Afghanistan and destroyed it. Power generation capabilities were low even when Afghanistan was much better off. But after a series of wars, Afghanistan was literally left with nothing to grow. There was no power, there was widespread poverty, there were so many issues. There was poor accessibility everywhere, there were no roads, no railways and no means to connect people from the country. The war had left nothing in Afghanistan intact.

The Taliban was not at all bothered about the economic condition of the country. All the Taliban cared about was to maintain the strict rule of Islam and strengthen the cause of Jihad all over the world. As a consequence to their actions, Afghanistan is a mess today.

The problem with Afghanistan and its condition today is that it has to start from scratch. It needs to undergo nation-building right from the start. And every nation has had serious problems and dilemmas when they started off.

The Afghani people have been poor and uneducated for years, especially in rural areas and areas with poor accessibility. They have very little resources and almost no infrastructure to work with.

It has been over 9 years since the NATO invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Taliban from power. The problem is that Afghanistan needs help. Though there is considerable help from NATO and other countries, the fact remains that the Afghanistan National Government needs help.

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It faces a security nightmare. The Taliban is still on the loose and it is widely reported that they are growing stronger by the day. Many people around the world believe that the exit of the NATO from Afghanistan will definitely result in the cessation of terrorist activities. However, I beg to differ.

Let us learn from history. When Israel occupied Gaza Strip, it used to face a lot of terrorist attacks from Palestinian terrorists originating from the Gaza Strip. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from every square inch of the Gaza strip in hopes that peace would ensue. But the Israelis never got peace. What it got in return was a terror base backed by Iran and Syria just 50 miles away from Tel Aviv and it got a 10 fold rise in rocket attacks on Israeli cities. The terrorism is inspired by Jihad. The terrorism is Jihad. Leaving the proponents of this cause in peace will only multiply the already existing problems and attacks.

The Afghan National Army is being trained by NATO so that they can take over after the NATO leaves the region sometime soon. However, trainers complain of a lot of problems in training the ANA. Recruits are uneducated and illiterate, they have criminal records, they have drug possession and consumption records, they are very slow in acquiring the necessary skills in being a soldier. The instructors have expressed their doubts whether the Afghan Army would be ready anytime soon to fight the Taliban and terrorists and protect Afghanistan from external threats. The instructors doubt how fast they can provide a force which the NATO can trust Afghanistan’s security with.

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NATO troops are continuously facing losses and casualties in its ongoing war against terrorism in Afghanistan. Many member nations of the NATO are expressing their desire to pull out from Afghanistan as they face a lot of pressure from their people to get their soldiers back home as fast as possible. NATO is also criticized due to the high costs of the war in Afghanistan.

But NATO cannot pull out as yet. The NATO can pull out safely only when it trains the Afghan armed forces and destroys the Taliban in Afghan soil. Though destroying the Taliban may not be a very easy task and to many it may even seem impossible, the NATO needs to stay. It needs to provide security to Afghanistan, it needs to train it and it needs to help it till it can get back to its feet and return to the pre-soviet invasion when it was much better off than it is now.

And it is not just about NATO. It would be better if more countries would contribute troops and resources to Afghanistan so that the Afghan people would be able to stand on their feet much faster and they can aid the quick withdrawal of NATO troops from the region. Afghanistan needs to be protected from Islamic, Jihadi elements like the Taliban.

For Afghanistan, at least for now, NATO is their only security, a means of aid and their hope.

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