No Way Out

Southasia - - Editor’s mail -

The United States finds it­self in a pre­car­i­ous sit­u­a­tion. It faces grow­ing domestic op­po­si­tion to fur­ther pro­long­ing the war in Afghanistan yet at the same time, faces a loom­ing cri­sis on ground in the al­ready volatile coun­try where it cur­rently wages an ide­o­log­i­cal war. It is ob­vi­ous that the United States has no clear exit strat­egy. Your cover story on the pos­si­bil­i­ties for a re­spon­si­ble NATO with­drawal and sub­se­quent Afghan sta­bil­ity was bru­tally hon­est yet in­creas­ingly wor­ri­some. Afghanistan has re­mained a hot bed of ex­trem­ism and ter­ror­ism since the 1980s and the chances that the coun­try will once again slip into a sim­i­lar quag­mire are very likely. Even if in­ter­na­tional troops with­draw in 2014 and in the short term, Afghanistan sta­bi­lizes, in the medium to long term, the pos­si­bil­i­ties of its dis­in­te­gra­tion are very high. Se­cu­rity es­tab­lish­ments such as the Afghan Na­tional Army and the Afghan Na­tional Po­lice are in­ad­e­quate to se­cure and sta­bi­lize the coun­try.

With elec­tions loom­ing in the near fu­ture and Pres­i­dent Karzai’s power hun­gry ten­ta­cles al­ready itching, the po­lit­i­cal fate of Afghanistan also seems to be up in the air. A grow­ing threat of mil­i­tancy and ex­trem­ism fur­ther ham­pers any sense of sta­bil­ity that civil so­ci­ety ac­tors de­sire. While the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity will con­tinue to as­sist Afghanistan in mat­ters of so­cial devel­op­ment and in fur­ther­ing demo­cratic ideals, on-ground chal­lenges will likely deal a fa­tal blow to an al­ready frag­ile sys­tem that will grow much weaker once in­ter­na­tional troops with­draw. It is un­cer­tain, whether the Afghan peo­ple will be able to sus­tain them­selves in the long run. What­ever the sorry case may be, this is not the first time they’ve been be­trayed by the United States. Ahmed Muzaf­far New Delhi, In­dia

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