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Afghanistan after Long NATO Presence

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TEHRAN, June 11 (ICANA) – Afghanistan is an important member of the international community and its domestic circumstances deeply affects security and stability of the region.
Saturday, June 11, 2011 8:33:55 PM
Afghanistan after Long NATO Presence

From this angle, every step is taken towards peace and security in Afghanistan not only is considered as a progress and advancement for the government and people of Afghanistan, but also is a move towards regional and global peace and security in Afghanistan.

In this article, I deem it necessary to voice my concerns regarding sharp growth in insecurity, violence and losing the lives of innocent people in Afghanistan.


Unfortunately, 9-year-long presence of the forces member to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), led by the US, has no results but to further exacerbate the security situation in Afghanistan and this matter is too clear that western propaganda such as social transition of Afghanistan from tribal to the democratic phase is by no means acceptable by the global community and the people of Afghanistan as well. The increase and the institutionalization of terrorism, the increase in the production and trafficking of the addictive drugs, the surge in the organized crime, massive massacre of civilians, destruction of cities and villages and the continued presence of Taliban in the Afghanistan's sensitive locations are some of imbalanced and destructive programs of NATO and the US in this country, all of which represent serious security threats to the region and the whole world.

Wide-spread threats emanating from production and trafficking of drugs and their consumption jeopardize precious ideals of man for global peace. Iran's experience in full fledge countering this detrimental disaster truly proves that one country alone, is not able to counter wide-ranging aspects of this calamity. Countering drugs requires a full international determination and effort. In its countering drugs, Islamic Republic of Iran has borne and incurred huge costs. I deem it necessary to warn that drug trafficking network in Afghanistan is an inalienable part of terrorist groups and these groups are financed through the incomes obtained by the drugs. Fighting terrorism and organized crimes without all-encompassing fight against drug traffickers will be an incomplete effort.

Terrorism is a global challenge of which many countries like Iran have borne various damages with direct and indirect consequences and fighting it requires involvement of all members of international community and adoption of a universal approach. Terrorism distinguishes no boundaries between the poor and the rich, guilty and innocent and it can pose a threat to all elements of the universe, regardless of their capabilities and position in various areas. Extremism, terrorism and violence have nothing to do with any culture, faith, religion or nationality whatsoever and to fighting terrorism, military solution is not enough but it is necessary to identify root causes and to eliminate them.

One of the aspects that require attention in Afghanistan regarding security is human and goods trafficking. This issue has affected regional security and in particular, that of Afghanistan's neighboring countries. Economic poverty has led to the deterioration of this phenomenon and the existence of uncontrollable borders shared by Afghanistan, from this point, makes the neighboring countries vulnerable. Whereas the countries receiving human labor force are the target of human traffickers; other countries in the region are exposed to the problems stemming from this phenomenon as well.

All set of above factors, beside economic instability and problems emanating from more than two decades long war and presence of foreign forces, reveals the complexity of interacting with the security element in Afghanistan.

According to the deal between a NATO and Afghanistan at NATO conference in Lisbon, it was decided that foreign forces would leave Afghanistan until 2014 and maintaining security in the country will be entrusted with the Afghan people. Islamic Republic of Iran and most of the pacifist states are satisfied of Afghan people being involved in maintaining the country's security and the pullout of foreign forces and view this in line with decreasing security threats in the region. But unfortunately, some published news pertaining reaching a strategic military treaty between the US and Afghanistan proved that in order to achieve its extra-territorial purposes, the US intends to perpetuate its military presence in Afghanistan and the issue of eliminating terrorism has only been a pretext and disguise for its long-term presence in Afghanistan and the region. One important question here is that in almost a decade-old intense presence in Afghanistan, to which primary goals, including uprooting terrorism, restricting production and trafficking narcotic drugs and weakening Taliban, the US has reached? Despite contribution by dozens of countries of military forces to the US, what positive security measures it has taken so that now this country seeks to have a permanent military presence in Afghanistan? Why, despite the military presence of NATO and the US, the extent of insecurity is spreading inside Afghanistan and along with its borders with the neighboring countries? 2010 was dubbed as the deadliest year in Afghanistan by some human rights watchdog groups. 2011 was began and continued with high number of casualties. Over the period of previous months, more than 100 NATO military forces as well as close to 200 civilians have lost their lives in violent incidents. The key question is that which country is responsible for the losses, casualties and financial damages and consequences pertaining to NATO and the US presence in Afghanistan?

I think strategic military treaty between the US and Afghanistan can overshadow and undermine previous achievements for the following reasons:

1. Creation of foreign military bases contradicts Afghan government's general policies as well as that of international community towards focusing on peaceful solutions.

2. Creation of foreign military bases will reinforce extremism in the region and will boost the possibility of its fresh recruitments.

3. So far, terrorism has constituted a common threat to the regional and extra regional states and in this regard, there has been a consensus among states to encounter it. By underlining creation of foreign military bases; this consensus will be undermined and the threat of the presence of these bases will exist side by side the threat emanating from terrorism.

4. Creation of foreign military bases in Afghanistan will transform extremism which was top priority of Afghanistan and regional countries.

Some may argue that pullback of foreign forces from Afghanistan will result in disappearance of current sovereignty in Afghanistan and will bring back the Taliban to the power. The reality however, is that the Taliban's seizing of power was not possible without hand of support extended by the US and its allies and again Taliban can only come in to reign and dominate Afghanistan if they have the support of the west. Again I would like to remind that signing of a new security treaty regarding permanent deployment and presence of foreign forces in Afghanistan will bring no attainment that harming the very interests of the west and will only complicate the situation in Afghanistan and the region.

The hope of Afghan people and the will and determination of international community for cooperation in maintaining security and reconstruction of Afghanistan, are precious assets that will bring about this country's development, regional stability and international security.


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