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The Mission Accomplished? Think again


NATO member countries are speeding pullout from Afghanistan ahead of the final drawdown of foreign forces by end of 2014. During his visit from British soldiers stationed in Southern Helmand province, UK Prime Minister David Cameron said the Afghan mission was accomplished and that a ‘basic level’ of security had been achieved in the country. British Prime Minister’s labeling the ongoing war in Afghanistan as accomplished is coming as the country’s forces stationed in Afghanistan has declined to almost about half compared to the size in last year. The visit comes only after Australia’s last battle contingents left Afghanistan, ending the mission of fighting the Taliban which claimed lives of dozens of Australian soldiers.

There is a rush for exit from Afghanistan war among troops-contributing NATO members as the mission remains far from accomplished and the future of winning the war is ambiguous. With the unaccomplished mission in Afghanistan, the determination among NATO countries and the Untied States for continuing the fight against terrorism for a better and peaceful world is faltering. The United States and many other NATO member countries are struggling with domestic economic crises and thus is increasingly shifting away from focusing on fighting in global missions to internal issues. The US, UK, Australia and other NATO members have invested treasures and bloods for securing Afghanistan and depriving the global terrorism from a conducive environment to operate. This mission has worked and now the global terrorism is much weaker and unorganized; however, the Taliban still remains a threat for Afghanistan – and the world.

The Afghan mission, as an unaccomplished war, needs commitment of the international community for the decades to come. Though there have been considerable progress in fighting the insurgency, there is long way ahead for Afghanistan to be secure and defeat the implacable insurgency that exhausted the Western armies during the last twelve years. What the US, UK and other NATO member countries should know is that the war on global terrorism and the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan will take years and maybe decades to be won, and needs to commitment and resolve from the United States and NATO. This war can only be won if the West continues to support the Afghan government as the NATO is shifting from direct engagement to advise and support role in the country.

As the Western powers are concluding the war on terror and insurgency in Afghanistan, the Taliban still remains a threat not only to Afghanistan’s stability but also the global peace and security. One should not forget that it was the Taliban who provided sanctuary and support to the Al-Qaeda and many other terrorists who were considered as threat to security of many regional countries as well as the Western nations. Though the Taliban have denounced to seek global agendas, like Al-Qaeda, the group will not hesitate to assist any terror outfits in Afghanistan and the region in case of a resurgence in the country. In addition, it would be naive to think if the Taliban will denounce terrorism and refrain colluding with other terrorist groups to threaten the world. Hence, the world must not forget that leaving an Afghanistan with an unaccomplished mission is not an option both for Afghanistan and the rest of the world.

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