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Editorial: Shallow alliance

Seemingly the United States has been a strategic ally of Afghanistan as the two countries have already signed the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). This defense pact is binding the US to defend sovereignty, territory and integrity of Afghanistan, major non-NATO ally in the region. According to the security agreement, Washington D.C has promised to respond quickly to the acts of aggression against its strategic partner. Unfortunately, there had been multiple incidents of aggressions against Afghanistan but the United States failed to respond—raising many eyebrows.  The cold-shoulder response of the American authorities is questioning credibility of the BSA and motives behind extended stay of the US forces in the country.

There is no denying that the United States has spent millions of dollars on reconstruction and security of Afghanistan. Several short-term projects were initiated in the war-hit country. Afghans are thankful for the support. They are grateful to the American people for their unwavering support. However, the US government had failed in improving lifestyle of Afghans or eliminating extremism and terrorism. The money was wasted and become cause of widespread corruption in the country. It will take years to unveil the true stories of massive corruption by the foreigners and Afghans because several people had transferred bags full of cash to Middle East, European and American banks.

Pentagon has not cooperated with the Special Inspector General of Afghanistan’s Reconstruction (SIGAR) because the inspector general was not allowed to access critical information on projects where corruption has been reported. Sharing of such details is necessary to fight corruption in Afghanistan. Therefore, the objectives of the US in Afghanistan are not what Afghans have envisaged or hoped. Kabul and Washington D.C may see apparently on the same page but in reality they are on opposite pages because both do not share common goals, except one or two. The so-called allies are connected by a thin cord of obligations.

If this was not the case then the United States would have helped Afghanistan against Pakistan after the recent skirmishes at Torkham. The US has denied playing its role to resolve the problem. There was fighting for three days but strategic allies of Afghans, the US, was watching the scene as a silent spectator. Pentagon and the White House had not moved beyond expressing mere concerns. What is the benefit of the BSA if it could not help Afghanistan at such a critical situation? Afghan government is on its own to resolve such problems.

Therefore, Afghan government must review the BSA and revoke it if it has no good for Afghanistan.


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