THE INTERNATIONAL COALITION IN AFGHANISTAN: CERTAIN ASPECTS OF STRATEGY
Shaislam Akmalov, Ph.D. (Political Science), Assistant Professor, Pro-Rector, Tashkent Islamic University (Tashkent, Uzbekistan)
Settlement of the situation relating to Afghanistan has been and remains one of the most urgent tasks of world politics. It is becoming increasingly clear that pacification calls for non-military methods: the counterterrorist coalition has failed. With each passing day, the war is pushing the people of Afghanistan deeper into an abyss and making any solution next to impossible.
The huge efforts of the international community and the coalition forces have done nothing to improve the situation; it is going from bad to worse: radical forces are regaining their positions to add an edge to the already high tension, while the militants are stepping up their terrorist activities.
The trouble broiling in Pakistan is having a negative effect on everything that is going on in Afghanistan; Hamid Karzai’s corrupt and incompetent government has merely added to the obvious impotence of power in Kabul.
The situation in the country is extremely unstable despite the fact that coalition forces have been stationed in the country for 9 years now. The destructive forces have stepped up their activity in the country’s north (the Balkh and Kunduz provinces), as well as in other parts of the country that were recently considered “safe,” which is arousing particular concern. It should be said that the Taliban has mastered fundamentally new tactics: today suicide bombers are its inalienable part.
The scores of international conferences and meetings expected to solve the Afghan problem have proven useless; there is no more or less specific plan of action either. This means that the international community has learned to live with the problem.
The number of civilian casualties has recently increased by 30 percent compared to 2009: according to the U.N., in the first six months of 2010, 1,200 Afghans were killed and about 2,000 wounded.
The considerable number of casualties in the ranks of the counterterrorist coalition (by early October 2010 it had lost over 2,100) has already stirred up the Western public.
Strategy and Tactics
The international academic and expert communities are actively discussing the pro et contra of the current strategy and tactics the international coalition is employing in Afghanistan. Both the supporters and the opponents are very concerned about the prospects of the NATO military operation in the country. Whether there is a military solution to the problem or whether the coalition should pull out to shift the burden of responsibility for law and order onto the Afghans remains a highly debatable issue.
Much is being said about the money to be poured into training centers (in the capital and the provinces) for……………..