Today I participated in a meeting with some of the students in Kabul University. Actually, it was a seminar type meeting. The main point of the seminar was, "Afghanistan's obscure future, a nightmare to come". Below is some of the points been made:
As fast as 2014 approaches and the Coalition forces are preparing to leave Afghanistan, the obscure future of the country and unbelievable uncertainty among Afghans about the political, social, and economical view increases. Despite all progress and development that have been made within one decade in the field of economy, market, education, social changes, security forces, and investment, many political experts, politicians, international and local research organizations prognosticate a dark future after 2014.
Increasing number of soldiers in National Army, Commando, Police, response force and border police lack one essential element that no other nation, even United States, can provide it; that element is unity. None of the forces in Afghanistan work for the betterment of the country.
Many young people joined the security forces not to be trained to serve the country and people, which is nothing but a sweet meaningless motto, but joined to put some food on the table of their family. For this regard why not to join an army that pays much better, with no schedule, no higher official on top, and with no commitment, which is Taliban group. Based on these reasons, many draw a dark future after withdrawal of Coalition forces from Afghanistan and prepare for worse.
Afghan politicians blame Pakistan, Iran, and foreign fighters of bringing war into Afghanistan. In response, Afghans did not and will not sit on their ass and just be the ‘YES-MAN’ and watch the drama. There are new but few regional and tribal fighters, even suicide bombers, ready to react in case Pakistan continues meddling in Afghanistan. The question rises that why Karzai is pushing the parliament to arm the militia (Kuchi) across South of country, create a new tribal force in areas close to Durand Line, proposing bills for eliminating some important doctrines of the upcoming election, and even ask the Taliban fighters in his every single speech to join his government.
As days pass, Afghan merchants are getting more serious about taking their assets out of the country as fast as they can. Many of them invest on properties in Dubai UAE, government officials are moving their family members overseas, more and more businesses are closing up, young people are fleeing the country, and the commitment of staying in the country is losing its meaning and color.
Of course, there are ways to prevent this nightmare to come true; United States can add Afghanistan as one of the most important issues to its foreign policies.
The future President of U.S. should add Afghanistan to the top of its agenda. The current situation in Afghanistan is similar to 1989 before the Soviet Red Army withdrawal. Back then, CIA in a report said that the Communist backed regime will fall in three weeks after withdrawal; it took longer, not much longer than three months. Perhaps, the only reason that why communist regime in Afghanistan fall, was the fall of Moscow government.
But U.S. is different; U.S. is a strong country with influence in the world. It will not go down soon, nor should let the Afghan government come apart. A more strategic look, consideration, and planning about the future of Afghanistan would be a dynamic strategy that U.S. can implement after 2014.
Despite increasing attacks of Taliban, they are not willing to continue the war after 2014. Taliban cannot and will not be able to control and create a new government as U.S. did for Afghans. Still, the Obama administration is busy with the internal war of U.S. and lost its capability of resolving the internal challenges.
“No negotiation with enemy” is America’s strategy but clearly it’s doing it in Afghanistan; cleverly putting Afghans in the hot line. Afghans agree on either way, if negotiation is on the table then DO IT NOW, if U.S. is leaving Afghans as it did in late 80s then DO IT NOW, if Afghanistan will not be a safe place after 2014 then LET US KNOW NOW.
What can Afghans do? Karzai should move aside. His candidacy for the upcoming election is not an, but no option. Karzai intentionally is boycotting the election by introducing bills to parliament that puts his favorite officials in position across the country. He should try to get the trust of Afghans, especially the one on the Durand Line. Karzai should not say that Afghanistan after 2014 will be a safe place without any war, rather, to announce that it might be difficult but WE can do it.
From security point of view, the new attacks over foreign mentors and trainers inside Afghan National Army, known as blue attacks on green, is a red light of internal war in future and should be controlled. If today soldiers can attack foreigners easily, the outcome is much more dangers; these attacks could easily change to tribal, personal, and regional war.
The future sketch of Afghanistan will come out not after 2014, rather it started already and it would complete in 2014 after no BIG BROTHER is at home to keep eyes on the situations. Whatever is, it’s not an optimistic and pleasant start. As one Afghan proverb says, “This is the beginning of the movie; stay tuned and wait for the outcome.”