Overcoming Fear of Possible Vacuum
Pressure is mounting on the United States and the Afghan government as the deadline of NATO withdrawal is coming nearer. Until now the US and NATO has had crucial role in the fight against militants where major part of the offense was being shouldered by American troops whereas with the transfer of security it is the Afghan security that will do the job onward. Besides that currently there are also certain other challenges that are really nerve-wracking for Kabul and many more would be ensued by the vacuum left by NATO withdrawal.
Both partners are worried about the possible vacuum that could emerge after the pullout of foreign troops in post-2014 Afghanistan. However, Washington D.C has plans to cope with the issue efficiently while Kabul is floundering. Kabul and Washington have almost same objectives but there is difference in approaches of the two—as all the steps being taken by America were somehow considered as not suited for the local problems of Afghanistan.
There is an ambiguity in policies of the Afghan government. The Afghan High Peace Council which was established to bring peace into the country while contacting Taliban and other countries that could help in the reconciliation process is yet to give good news. Insecurity still presents a blur picture of the country. Neighboring countries have contact with more Taliban leaders than the peace council. List of Taliban representatives for peace talks is missing. The High Peace Council is even unable to pursued ulema in Pakistan to attend the Af-Pak Ulema Conference in Kabul. Though, the officials said that the ulema conference would be held in March where 250 Pakistani clerics would participate, but Pakistani media present a different picture—in contradiction to that presented by Afghan officials. There should be a political solution to the ongoing violence in the country as it could not be decided on the battlefield. Nobody could guarantee socio-economic and political development in the country unless conflict ends.
Moreover, Afghan officials also failed to cash the years’ long presence of the United States and its allies in Afghanistan. The country is still run mostly on donations while Afghan security forces need trainings and modern military equipments to knock out militants. For that reason they should be equipped and given more state-of-the-art trainings. Even high-ups in Defense Ministry are not satisfied with capabilities of the law enforcement agencies. They have concerns about security situation in post-2014 Afghanistan. Many Afghans are of the view that once international forces leave the country all opportunities would disappear.
Situation would become clear up to extent after the US President Barack Obama gives speech to the Congress. If he hints at a speedy withdrawal of troops, then pressure on Kabul would mount manifold. Neighboring countries are in the quest to fill the perceived vacuum with the help of their sponsored groups including insurgent outfits. This could threaten the government. Hence, the Afghan government should make wise choice at this critical juncture to outshine anti-Afghanistan elements. The government should complete preparation for post-2014 Afghanistan because eleventh hour steps and measures wouldn’t play any positive rather they will give serious fallouts.