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NATO’s Afghan failure

03.02.2014 17:46

Vladimir Krasnov

President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid KARZAI said in an airstrike by the U.S. in Parwan province, seven children and one woman were killed, one man was injured.

This is not the first charge against the coalition forces in connection with the ‘negligent operations’ whose victims are civilians. Karzai also noted that the Afghan Government for over the past few years has requested to completely stop operations in Afghan villages. But the international coalition troops breaking all agreements and arrangements continue to carry out air strikes on residential areas, causing casualties among civilians.

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has operated on the territory of the Islamic Republic since 2001. The U.S. brought troops into Afghanistan with the declared aims to overthrow the Taliban regime and destruct the participants of the international terrorist organization al-Qaeda. Since then, during the warfare more than 3,300 ISAF troopers were killed.

The main item on the NATO agenda remains the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. In one of interviews, NATO Deputy Secretary General Alexander Vershbow, summarized the 12-year NATO troops’ presence in Afghanistan, noting that the Taliban is not completely destroyed, but considerably weakened and another year of advisers work on training the Afghan forces will certainly yield results.

However Vershbow did not mention that the “significantly weakened Taliban” the U.S. is still trying to negotiate and settle the matter in such a way as to save face before the international community.

Even now, a number of experts and military specialists believe that the military campaign has not reached the expected results and did not fulfill the tasks set before it, because anyhow after the withdrawal of troops a significant part of the region will fall again under the control of the Taliban.

Thus, the former Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards, said that “without the NATO’s support, the Afghan government army’s capabilities to conduct operations against the Taliban will quickly come to naught.” His colleague - former Admiral Lord Alan West, former Head of the Royal Navy, called the alliance’s military mission in Afghanistan a “strategic failure”. In this connection, he stressed that in the first place the failure is political, “as there was no clear understanding of what goals must be achieved in the Islamic republic”.

The problem of Afghan drug trafficking still remains unresolved – one of the main destabilizing factors in the region. According to Russian experts, during all the time of international coalition presence the opium poppy crops grown by almost 40 times, and Afghanistan has taken a leading position in the production of opiates and heroin. On this occasion A.Vershbow could not give any reasonable answer, saying only that it is not the problem that can be solved by NATO as a military organization, and the international community’s efforts therein were insufficient.

The agreement on the status of the ISAF troops’ presence in Afghanistan after 2014 has not yet been signed. The U.S. is seeking the possibility to keep its bases in order to continue to conduct operations using UAVs. But the prospect of participation in the new knowingly ‘disastrous and aimless’ mission no longer finds approval neither by the Afghan authorities, nor by the alliance member countries tired and exhausted by war.

Meanwhile, in neighboring Iraq the Americans have left not so long ago, the situation begins to develop according to the worst-case scenario. The fighters of the terrorist group ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ subordinating to al-Qaeda have recently captured the city of Fallujah and sharply stepped up terrorist activities throughout the country. During a response operation by the authorities against the jihadists, both sides have lost in killed and wounded up to 500 people.

This spring, the North Atlantic Alliance will celebrate its 65th anniversary. Analysis of NATO’s and the alliance partners’ defeats and achievements in Afghanistan will be held at the September summit in Wales. However, it is now evident that local authorities are not in a position to retain the territory of Afghanistan under their control, and the Iraqi scenario is quite possible in the territory of the Islamic countries.