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Editorial: NATO talks on troop increase in Afghanistan

The leaders of the member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) are set to decide whether to send more troops to Afghanistan in their Thursday talks in Brussels.

The military organization member countries are making the decision to re-deploy soldiers in the war-hit country almost three years after the end of their combat mission that in the belief of Afghan people had no impact on the security improvement.

The deployment of additional troops are apparently carried out with the aim of training and advising Afghan security forces who have been lonely battling the Taliban and other terrorist groups since the beginning of 2015.

There are currently 8,900 US troops in Afghanistan and Washington has said to send 3,000 more soldiers in addition to some 1,500 to 2,000 ones from other NATO member countries.

The situation that was expected to have a positive change by the 2001 US-led invasion that ousted Taliban from power, made Afghans disappointed. The group that was thought to have been enough weakened to stand again on its feet, re-emerged and started carrying out attacks against the Afghan security forces, foreign troops and the poor civilians almost across the country.

People witnessed bloody attacks against their villages, farmlands and houses not even by the Taliban, but also by the NATO-led international troops. Hundreds of innocent men were arrested and taken to the NATO-administered detention centers inside and outside the country while committing no crime or having no link with the insurgents.

Night raids and air attacks that targeted civilians in the rural areas taught them that they have to still be victimized and just the persons who kill them had changed.

That was the reason that the former president, Hamid Karzai raised the voice of criticism against the US and other foreign troops’ actions and at last refused to sign the security pacts with the United States and NATO to let them have bases in the country.

Remembering the past 16 years shows that sending more troops to Afghanistan will have no benefit for Afghans and will not help to bring durable peace to the country.

The NATO countries especially the United States should find the roots of terrorism that is outside the borders of Afghanistan. They have to target terrorist nests in Pakistan soil and pressure the governments that support terrorism to stop harboring, backing and training them if they are really working to eliminate this phenomenon and save their people from the fear of attacks inside their countries.

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