Jul 02, 2011U.S. Long Term Military Presence and Future of Afghanistan
Sayed Maisam Wahidi
Afghanistan has a bloody history. It remained subjected to invasion by world powers starting from Alexandra the great to the British Empire and then the Soviet Union in pursuit of their economic and strategic interests. Afghanistan also tried to ally with various world powers to defend against interference by its regional neighbours and foreign armies. The visionary King Ammanullah, for instance, tried to ally with the world powers in the 19th century. He travelled to Europe to establish diplomatic relations and strategic alliances with France, Germany and Italy and sought a new friendship with the Russian Empire. However, he was not successful in aligning with these European powers to sustain his power longer in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has never succeeded to secure a reliable alliance with a World power to defend its boundaries and repel interfering policies of outsiders especially its neighbours. The case of the Soviet invasion is an exception. Afghanistan and the Former Soviet Union, albeit allies of each other, were accommodating two incompatible ideologies which did not allow them to remain committed to each other. Soviets’ communism and Afghanistan’s traditional and Islamic ideology created an obstacle in the way of their alliance and turned one into an invader and the other into a victim. But, in the current global era, Afghanistan is facing new challenges. It is trying to recover itself from the devastation triggered by the three decade long war and to play a key and responsible role vis-a-vis the current dynamics engulfing Afghanistan. Consequently, the U.S.-Afghan Strategic Partnership currently under review may not see the same fate as its predecessors, and this article examines the potential of this partnership by framing Afghanistan’s political, security and economic needs against its internal and regional challenges.
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