No Way Out
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