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Editorial: Afghans keep sacrificing for decades

Senior American officials have recently said that the US military presence in Afghanistan needs a review.

Based on the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) signed between the governments of Afghanistan and the United States two years ago, the Obama administration announced that it would keep nearly 10,000 troops for one year beyond 2014. The US and NATO ended their combat mission at the end of December 2014. The decision was seen as a test for the Afghan armed forces in fight against Taliban and other armed opposition groups.

The US planned to minimize the number of its forces to 5,500 after 2015 and then to a diplomatic mission security unit (some 1,000 soldiers). But the White House and the Pentagon seem to have changed views. President Barack Obama’s new nominee for the top commander of the US troops in Afghanistan said the other day that the situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating. He said that Washington should leave 9,800 US troops beyond 2016.

Separately, some American officials believe that Obama would not reduce the number of troops before he leaves office in January 2018. They say that the president would leave the decision to his successor. On the other hand, the Americans say that the Taliban militants are now much stronger ever since the US invasion in 2001. “Washington’s 14-year efforts to defeat the Taliban and bring peace and stability to the country are nearing failure,” the US-based Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reports. “This grows concerns about president Obama’s pledge to withdraw troops from Afghanistan.” It said the Afghan government is controlling more than 70 per cent of the territory, but the insurgent activity by the Taliban and other extremist groups is growing.

The appearance of another group has added another concern for people and the government. The Daesh (Arabic acronym of the Islamic State) that was recruiting and propagating in the eastern parts of the country has reportedly opened a new terrorist front. The US will probably involve in another war that is not clear when will finish.

The US will probably not leave Afghanistan in the near future, as an American official said this week: “The US will probably stay for decades in Afghanistan”.

If the United States is really looking for the terrorists, it can easily find them by its advanced ground and air intelligence operatives and can remove them easier as it enjoys the world’s most developed weaponries.

The people of Afghanistan do not know how many more sacrifices they should do so the ‘perpetual war’, the ‘war of power’ and the ‘war to control the region’ gets consequence.

If the US really wants to rescue Afghans from terrorists, why the war still takes the lives of Afghans? And will this war finish at last or should we keep giving sacrifices so others in Europe and America enjoy comfortable lives?

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