The NATO plan to pull out its forces from Afghanistan has motivated many of our neighbors and near neighbors to mull over expanding their roles in this country. India has already signed the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) with Afghan government and China will be doing the same in the near future, although Iran and Russia remain wary of US intentions to establish permanent military bases inside Afghanistan.
In the long run, the SPA's Afghanistan has signed with politically and economically stable countries such the US, UK, France, Germany and others will help this country stabilize itself both security and economy wise. However, concerns remain solid over the capability of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to defend their country beyond 2014 in the absence foreign troops as without security no country would be able to continue its political and non-political roles here.
There is pressing need for concrete plan from NATO countries that can ensure that their sacrifices in blood and treasure and the ten-year gains of Afghans would not go futile. On Monday, the NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Afghanistan and NATO had agreed to develop a plan for a new international peacekeeping mission in the country after 2014 when Afghan forces take full control of the security.
"On Afghanistan, we set out a clear path from now until 2014 and beyond. And we sent out a clear signal to the Afghan people and the region that we will stay committed," he said. The step is, undoubtedly, crucial for ANSF who need more training to turn professional.
Established just a decade ago, the Afghan National Army (ANA) has emerged as the most reputable organization at time when the Afghan government falls in the list of most corrupt governments of the world. Nonetheless, the army still has a long way to go and would require international support as long as they are able to confidently stand against elements posing threats to regional and global security. The urge by international community to remain committed towards Afghanistan is welcoming for the future stability of this country.