BEIJING, Sept. 28 -- Afghanistan's political and
social turmoil has been aggravated by different intentions of the participating
nations that constitute the coalition forces.
In the short term, the fragile Afghan regime is finding it difficult
to tame its restive domestic situation. Still, a prescription could help bring
the country out of the mess if key players adopt a peaceful and reconciliatory
approach in their push for the end of the war.
The United States should first put an end to the war.
The anti-terror war, which the former US administration of George W Bush
launched in 2001, has turned out to be the source of ceaseless turbulence and
violence in the past years.
To promote much-needed reconciliation among the
parties concerned, the US should end its military action. The war has neither
brought the Islamic nation peace and security as the Bush administration
originally promised, nor brought any tangible benefits to the US itself. On the
contrary, the legitimacy of the US military action has been under increasing
Public opinion within the US on the war has undergone
dramatic change. According to a recent poll, opinion in favor of the war has
declined from 53 percent in April to 39 percent, while opinion opposed to the
war has increased to 58 percent from 46 percent. The US Congress has also cast
doubt over the Obama administration's Afghanistan strategy. The opposition from
74 percent Democrats and 70 percent independent votes to the war would be a big
restraint on the Obama administration's larger military strides given that the
new president cannot afford to bet his political fate on a unpopular war.
Since taking office as president, Obama has been
under pressure from the Pentagon for military reinforcements in Afghanistan. The
calls of war opponents over that of supporters will give the young US president
the best chance to extricate himself from the Pentagon's pressures. If Obama
resolutely decides to stop the war, that would not only meet the US public
expectations and save more American lives, but also help recover the US'
peaceful image and enhance the president's personal political prospects.
Another way to help Afghanistan break the current
deadlock is to promote reconciliation among the Afghan government, the Taliban
and the country's major warlords, all being key actors that can play an
influential role in deciding the country's prospect. In addition to the US
factor, the chaos in Afghanistan is also closely related to the long-standing
domestic strife between factions. Afghanistan experienced numerous wars and
conflicts in history, including invasion by the Soviet Union in the late 1980s
and the US war. The war-ravaged Asian nation is undergoing a chaotic battle that
has involved the US-led coalition forces, its government troops and domestic
warlords, the Taliban and Al Qaeda forces. The disorderly confrontations and
strife do no good to anyone but have only caused untold suffering to Afghan
Afghanistan's political disorder is also the main
cause of its domestic chaos. The country's presidential election on Aug 20 has
so far failed to produce a final result.
The recount of votes in more than 600 polling
stations alleged to have suffered fraud is expected to last another two or three
months, which will add to the chaos. The US has urged Afghan president Hamid
Karzai to hold a second round of voting. It seems that Karzai has hammered home
the perception that the US is not a reliable partner that can help end
Afghanistan's current predicament. Talks, he thinks, is the only way out. The
Afghan president is likely to open the process of tri-party peace talks with the
Taliban and major warlords provided that the US ends its military action.
Support from the international community is needed to
help Afghanistan make a substantive move toward peace. The international
community can take advantage of the ever-mounting anti-war calls within the US
to prompt the Obama administration to end the war and withdraw US troops.
Germany, France and Britain have planned an international conference this year
to discuss the gradual withdrawal of Afghanistan military deployment.
International pressures may offer Obama another excuse to withdraw US troops.
The UN Security Council should carry the baton from the three European nations
to convene a conference on the Afghanistan issue and try to reach a consensus
among its five permanent Security Council members and draft a roadmap and
timetable for resolution of the thorny issue. In the process, a ticklish issue
is whether parties concerned can accept the Taliban as a key player in
Afghanistan and how to dispose of the Al Qaeda armed forces, an issue that has a
key bearing on the outcome of any international conference on the Afghanistan
Surely, an international peacekeeping mission is
needed in the absence of US troops. With the aid of international peacekeepers,
the Afghanistan government and its security forces can be expected to exercise
effective control over domestic unrest and maintain peace and security.
The author is deputy secretary-general of the China
Council for National Security Policy Studies
(Source: China Daily)
NATO's trouble in Afghanistan gives courage to Al-Qaida, Taliban
KABUL, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden on Friday issued a fresh warning to European countries to part ways with the United States and withdraw their forces from Afghanistan.
"If Europe is today suffering the travails of the economic crisis, and the heart of Europe is no longer number one in world exports, and the America is reeling from the hemorrhage caused by the economic war, then how do think you will fare after America pulls out," he said in a new audio message released on the Internet. Full story