Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 24th, 2017

How the US New Strategy Will Come to Fruition?

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How the US New Strategy Will Come to Fruition?

The declaration of US policy about Afghanistan was encountered with national and international reactions and all construed it on the basis of their personal interests. A number of states said that the US new strategy was distinct from the past and deemed it positive. Afghanistan also welcomed the new strategy and called it a positive step in combating terrorism and a warning for the militants’ regional supporters.
This strategy contains significant points including the responsibility of Afghanistan. In the past, if the country did not play a pivotal role in combating terrorism, alongside the foreign troops, and sustained little financial and political support, now it is no more so and the situation has been changed. New capacity is in the offing for Afghanistan so that the country could work alongside the US to implement this strategy. The country should play its financial, political, and military role in a clear way. The US will not shoulder all the responsibilities by its own and wants Afghanistan to operate with America side by side. In addition to avoiding interference in country’s domestic issues and rejects nation building, the US will work for all-round reformation for the betterment of Afghanistan. The support will not be a “blank check” and all the aid packages will be scrutinized so as to ease achieving the ultimate goal.
Afghanistan seems to be more responsible than ever before in terms of supporting its international allies, mainly the US, strategically. The country will have to move committedly; adopt an effective mechanism for backing its allies; declare its support in economic, political, and military fields with the establishment of a commission; and define its political cooperation clearly so that there be no ambiguity.
One of the distinctions of the US new strategy is that it goes beyond the Afghan border where the fate of war and peace is shaped. Defining Pakistan as a supporter to terrorists and India as a hotbed of civilization, peace, and democracy is a productive view to regional peace and stability. Considering the realm of this strategy’s influence, the schedule for the strategy was not set. That is to say, although the military forces were bestowed full authority in carrying out air and ground operations for eradicating terrorists wherever they are, setting a schedule was deemed detrimental policy.
The policy of US regarding Iraq and Afghanistan during Barack Obama’s administration was called a strategic error. The hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan constitutes a vacuum which will be filled by terrorists forthwith. Declaring its strategy about Afghanistan and South Asia, US President Donald Trump said, “As we know, in 2011, America hastily and mistakenly withdrew from Iraq.  As a result, our hard-won gains slipped back into the hands of terrorist enemies.  Our soldiers watched as cities they had fought for, and bled to liberate, and won, were occupied by a terrorist group called ISIS.  The vacuum we created by leaving too soon gave safe haven for ISIS to spread, to grow, recruit, and launch attacks.  We cannot repeat in Afghanistan the mistake our leaders made in Iraq.”
The United States seem very determined to implement its new strategy and target terrorist militants with strong force. Trump said that his country had been paying Pakistan billions of dollars, but it was housing terrorists whom the US soldiers are fighting against. He added that it ought to change, and change immediately.
The trip of NATO and Pentagon officials following the declaration of strategy reflects Washington’s strong determination in enforcing its policy in Afghanistan and South Asia. US Secretary of Defense James Mattis insisted that Taliban’s supporters should stop helping the group and coordinate with the policy of the international community by understanding Washington’s will.
The US new strategy put Pakistan in a cul-de-sac. Although China, which is a close strategic ally to Pakistan, supported Islamabad in some ways saying that Islamabad was in the front line in terms of combating terrorism and paid heavy sacrifice in this respect.  Pakistan officials are highly discontented with the US new strategy. Increasing the role of India in Afghanistan and South Asia will never be acceptable for Islamabad.
In fact, the presence of the US forces in Afghanistan is really crucial. In the past, when America declared the full withdrawal of its forces, many countries, including Russia, opposed this issue. It is because Russia, China, etc. will know that combating terrorism without US is problematic and the regional stability will be at stake.

In short, the new strategy is an appropriate opportunity for Afghanistan. Afghan government will have to struggle to use this opportunity in a right way. Afghanistan must plan an effective security mechanism and intensify its attacks against terrorist networks. Moreover, committed and skilled individuals should be appointed in security sectors.

Liaqat Ali Amini is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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