US-Policy towards Afghanistan

(Sarah Ahmed Malik, Lahore)

The new administration is basically the realist in approach of setting the different goals. During February 28, 2017, the address to a joint session of Congress, U.S. President Donald Trump vowed to “demolish and destroy” terrorist groups such as the Islamic State (also known as ISIS). Along with its current diplomatic intelligence, and the current development, the Trump administration is still increasing the number of troops to Afghanistan in order to control the security but this is basically not the solution for the issue of Afghanistan. The United States ought to retain the small military force in the country or slightly above the current level which is of 8,400 U.S. soldiers. It could definitely be resolved by considering other options such as the use of soft power, but Trump administration is not keen to do so. This is the only reason thatrecently we saw the dropping of Mother of all bombs which is known as MOAB in Afghanistan on ISIS. In some ways, Trump inherits a more challenging situation in Afghanistan than his predecessor did. In 2016 and 2017, the Taliban slightly increased their control of territory in rural areas of Afghanistan’s East and North. More than 50% control in Afghanistan is by Taliban’s movement.

On other hand, all the countries in which the United States is militarily engaged against Islamist extremists, Afghanistan is one of the few in which the local government has welcomed U.S. armed forces. This reality does not diminish the importance of Iraq, Libya, Syria, and other frontline states battling terrorist groups but it actually means that Trump should make Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan an important and enduring part of the struggle against ISIS and other extremist groups and states. The main objectives in the policy towards Afghanistan is the use of hard power again as Trump weighs more troops to Afghanistanand this was the reason, his statements show his stance clearly that they will destroy and demolish terrorist groups and the tool is again in the shape of increasing number of troops and MOAB dropping. US also assures their assistance for Afghan Government to protect their different interests. Trump is also revising the use of hard power which was experienced by his party mate Bush anditactually seems harmful for the peace in the region.

US interests are to be protected by improving the capacity of the Afghan government and the local allies as much as is feasible. There are so many options for stabilizing the situation of Afghanistan. First of all, U.S diplomats need to continue the encouraging governance reforms in the country which includes the helping andorganizing transparent elections and undermining large-scale public corruption. Secondly, the United States should continue to keep at least the current number of 8,400 forces in Afghanistan rather than increasing the number of troops as Trump has increased 10000 more. It seems the wish to use of hard power is again rising by USA, which is not a good sign for peace in the region.

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14 May, 2018 Views: 275


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