The new administration of the United States has finally come up with a military policy regarding the war against Taliban’s in Afghanistan that has entered its 17th year. Immediately after 9/11, President Bush had named North Korea, Iran and Iraq as the ‘Axis of Evil’, none of which were directly responsible for the deadly attack on the World Trade Center. The real problem lied in Afghanistan, a war-torn nation which had become a safe haven for most acrimonious and lethal terrorist organizations of the world, especially Al-Qaeda and Taliban. NATO forces under the leadership of the US have been deployed in Afghanistan since 2001, when it invaded the nation to topple the Taliban government, replacing it with an internationally recognized government.
Nevertheless, the deadliest Islamic fundamentalist group, Taliban was never exterminated. Their presence designates Afghanistan as statistically the most dangerous place in the world. Taliban relentlessly executes barbaric yet systematically planned attacks in various regions of the country, including the capital city of Kabul. Their predominant demand from the government is withdrawal of foreign military forces before any peace talks to begin. This is simply inconceivable for the 8400 United States troops present in the country who mostly train and advise the Afghan soldiers. Lack of strong and uncompromising leadership or strategy in Afghanistan has led to territorial as well as economic gains of Taliban.
Donald Trump had been skeptical of the presence of US troops doing any good to the Afghanistan, but he has unexpectedly changed his stance. His speech about the new military policy talks about how billions of dollars, time, energy, and human capital invested in foreign land has led to frustration among the Americans. The nation now seeks an enduring outcome. However, he acknowledges the fact that immediate and predictable withdrawal of troops would create a vacuum that can be filled by terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda or ISIS. His speech is reminiscent of the hasty withdrawal of troops from Iraq as order by the Obama administration that helps ISIS germinate and wreak havoc. Trump is keen not to repeat the mistake.
There are many foreign terrorist organizations that are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, which is the highest concentration in the world. Henceforth, Trump took opportunity to publicly rebuke Pakistan for harboring the very terrorists, Americans are fighting. Billions of dollars paid incessantly to them are being wasted with Pakistan showing no commitment to ensure peace and stability in the region. On the other hand, he acknowledges India to be a reliable economic and security partner in the region, calling for its greater collaboration and cooperation for the development of Afghanistan. He lauds India’s efforts for stability in the region.
Trump’s message was clear. He wants to eradicate enemies of America, obliterate ISIS and al-Qaeda, prevent Taliban’s surge over Afghanistan, and stop the mass terrorist attacks around the world and potentially on US soil. He warns of immediate recrimination, and has given extended decision-making authority to his generals and commanders on ground. Trump is determined to protect the US at all costs while maintaining hegemony over the world, including South Asia. The encouragement to India’s role comes as a clarion call, something the Indian government is prepared to pursue.
Article by mausam.