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Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Some brief notes on Afghanistan: Nearly 11 years after the beginning of OEF and ISAF

What we (the international community) have failed to do was the socio-economic reconstruction per se. There have been a small number of successful projects, yes. Such as energy supply through water generated power, re-establishing of schools for boys and girls, slight improvements in women's rights....but overall, it was just too much limited to the urban areas and didn't reach all regions of the country (probably because the southern regions of Kandahar and Herat are de facto war zones through the US led Operation Enduring Freedom OEF and therefore inaccessable for humanitarian reconstruction efforts)

Also, unable to completely destroy poppy production (which is the basis for opium, (Afghanistan is one of the world's largest drug exporter)), or fully disarm warlord groups, or establishing self-sustainable central security forces for the ANP and ANA. These were major blows for the entire process of enforcing state security (Germany was as a lead nation responsible for the training of Afghan police forces)

The US and the UK are planning a quick withdrawal from Afghanistan. Although the original plan laid down by the Lisbon Strategy implies to pull back out of Afghanistan by 2014, it is possible to acclelerate this procedure by mid-2013, according to a recent meeting between US President Obama and British Prime Minister Cameron. Even Germany is considering an advanced withdrawal before the original date, despite the reluctance of the Germany government to speed up the withdrawal.

For me, this is not only a sign of lost self-confidence and determination of the western world, but it was to be interpreted as a surrender, leaving all security tasks to the inadequately trained Afghan security forces.

In the end, Afghanistan will find itself in a position were it has been before 2001: a graveyard of empires (RIP Great Britain, RIP Soviet Union, RIP USA and NATO)

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