Monday, April 23, 2012

Afghanistan-US Draft Agreement

The draft agreement towards building a long term partnership between the two countries is very welcome news. 

There are 3 core reasons that this news is good.

1) It assures the Taliban/Haqqani network/affiliated anti-government forces that the US commitment to Afghanistan is a long term one. The pursuit of a peaceful settlement with insurgents forces requires that those forces not believe that the US/ISAF are running for the exits (as they have believed up to this point- with some help from President Obama). Now that these groups understand that the US is taking a smaller but crucially ongoing role with regards to supporting the Afghan Government, insurgent groups will be more amenable to negotiation and less motivated to pursue a violent struggle that they will increasingly understand they cannot win.

2) The agreement strengthens rather than weakens Afghan sovereignty. By establishing supreme Afghan authority for controversial issues like night raids and detainee detention, while at the same time assuring the continued provision of US military/intelligence assistance, this deal will maintain critical American support while mitigating Taliban accusations of US imperialism. The long-term nature of this agreement will also assist in US efforts to support better governance at the local and central levels of Afghanistan's political process.

3) The deal will allow ISAF forces to adopt a smooth transition towards transferring combat operations to Afghan govt. security forces. As Afghanistan's security improves (especially in the once violence-plagued South) and Afghan forces begin to take the lead, this partnership will allow both Afghan and US forces to coalesce their resources and strategic visions on a long term approach towards Afghanistan's stability. As part of this evolution, desperate short term solutions with little chance of success will be marginalised in favour of a strategy that can patiently build success over time.

No comments:

Post a Comment