Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, June 22nd, 2018

Withdrawal of Foreign Troops: Not Path to Peace, Sustaining Conflict

Abbass Araqchi, the political deputy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran said today, Wednesday 28 March, 2018, that withdrawal of the foreign troops from Afghanistan is the “beginning of peace” in the country. Military approaches to solve the Afghan conflict has failed in the past and will fail in the future as well, he said.
The question which raises here is that, is the foreign troops withdrawal from Afghanistan the preconditions to peace in the country?
The answer to the question is, at least, increasingly obvious: if the U.S and other allies leave Afghanistan before the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are fully prepared to lead the fight against the Taliban, and deny safe haven to ISIS and other terrorist groups, these terrorist groups are nearly certain to reign a high degree of save heaven in Afghanistan, as what happened in Iraq. Thus, the U.S and other international allies should remain and increase their troops in Afghanistan, until up the time security and stability is ensured in the country.
At the current situation, Afghan security forces do not have the logistics, air support, intelligence, and transportation capabilities and capacities they require to sustain their fight against the Taliban, ISIS, defend their borders, or deny save haven to ISIS, Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in the country. ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and their many affiliates and allies in the region have not been defeated and if the U.S and other international allies leave the country, these terrorist groups are likely to grow stronger in the power vacuum left in the wake of a U.S and other allies’ withdrawal.
It is clear that if Afghanistan slides back into chaos or the ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and other affiliates operate unchecked in the country, the price the world shall pay is unaffordable and catastrophic. As Obama, the previous U.S president, has said, “We have a shared responsibility to act-not because we seek to project power for its own sake, but because our own peace and security depends on it”. It is a clear cut fact that the security of the region and beyond the region depends on the security of Afghanistan. Further, here’s why the international community forces should stay until the job is done.
The First is Afghan security forces, “logistics and sustainment capabilities remain underdeveloped. Although the Afghan security forces now lead the operations, they continue to rely on international military forces for air support, intelligence, surveillance and, and reconnaissance, among other needs. Clearly, the Afghan forces need international assistance, including training and advising, for an unpredictable time in the future.
The Second is, landlocked Afghanistan is at risk of unwelcome external influences, its sovereignty and traditions vulnerable. During the course of its history, the competition among external powers has affected negatively Afghanistan and changed it to the land of proxy wars. To ensure the success in Afghanistan, the U.S and its allies shall ensure strategic coordination and management of the whole endeavor; the U.S allies shall fully employ hard power, and also the Afghan government shall ensure no one abuse the international aid to line their own pockets. If the U.S and allies give Afghanistan enough troops, money and enough faith, the success in this prolong war, and winning the battle is not impossible.
The las but not least, as the civil conflict in 90s have proved, withdrawal of the U.S and other international allies not only will not put an end to the conflict, but will change it to the safe haven of the terrorist groups and will only open the ground for the interference of the bad neighbors in the country. And, if that happens it is not only the Afghans who will suffer dearly, but also the international community will pay higher costs than what they will pay by keeping their troops in Afghanistan. As a result, it is in the interest of Afghanistan, the region and the international community to join hands and help the country to realize its strategic potentials as the circle of regional and international economic partnership and open a new chapter in the regional and international economic partnership methods: contributing to the development of economic integration on a global scale.