Editorial

Fears about Early US Withdrawal

The fear not relief is prevalent in Afghanistan after President Obama announced an early troop withdrawal initiative in this spring. The idea that somehow Afghan forces are ready to take charge of security arrangement in villages and towns is still unclear. No concrete statement of intent has emerged out of Mr. Obama and Mr. Karzai’s joint statement. Mostly, it appears to be a “farewell” business both for outgoing Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and President Karzai who also agreed to step-down in 2014.

The Washington Post reported that Karzai expressed uncertainty about whether diplomatic immunity would be provided to U.S. troops beyond 2014 — a prerequisite for an enduring troop presence, according to Obama. For Afghans worried about a dramatic U.S. withdrawal, the prospect that the Americans won’t offer Karzai the concessions he needs to grant that immunity prompted concerns. Of course the long list of demands that Mr. Karzai took along, has still not yielded any concrete results, a consequence of Mr. Obama’s change of priorities.

The fundamental question however is not about US military’s role as trainers, but it might involves a serious political business, that is, arranging for pro-US political leadership in the post Karzai Afghanistan. From negotiating with Taliban to deconstructing political alliances, especially within among tribal and political leadership, and from neutralizing Iranian influence from Afghanistan to manufacture better consent about the sustainable advisory role of the US, especially in terms of regional security and establishment of political governments – as per requirement of the stay of the US and NATO countries in Afghanistan.