After September 11, 2001, Afghanistan unwrapped its wounds of 22 years of war to the world, and the world did every thing to heal those gashes, but the remedies just acquired times for the cancerous lumps.
Billions of dollars via dishonored NGOs and dishonest Afghan officials evaporated back to the pockets of the impure individuals, and the Afghan people with naught in their hands stared at NATO and US forces with rage and disgust.
Government buildup in Afghanistan from the commencement intended with failing and unprofessional conducts. The Afghan managers within the government and its foreign advisors on one side and the western NGOs on the other hand, shoulder to shoulder, shaped an alliance of dishonest throngs to destroy the main fabric of livelihood of Afghan nation.
This army of corrupted bureaucrats and NGOs shaped Afghanistan’s economy to a utilization market of neighboring countries rubbish products, from food, clothes, equipments, to building materials and thoughtless projects. The real prey was the Afghan nation who trapped innocently in the claws of these profiteers and government backed organized criminals.
The appointed security officials of Afghan government treated their fellow Afghan citizens based on their tribal rivalries. They killed innocent Afghans, confiscated properties, imprisoned innocent people (just because they belonged to rival tribes), searched innocent people’s houses based on vengeful information and in most cases between 2002 and 2008, bombed houses of innocent people and villages just by reporting the erroneous information to the United States and NATO air forces. The tribal rivalries between the two main pushtun tribes, the Durani and Ghalzaie, have instigated for the last three hundred years, during this period the Ghalzai tribe has controlled Afghanistan only two times of less than fifteen years. Afghanistan has been dominated by Durani Pushtun, around 270 years till now. The current conflict is the understandable clannish hostility between the influential leaders of the two major tribes of Pushtun.
Between 2002 and 2008, explicit circles in Pakistan started to call up young enraged Pushtune from the horn of Nuristan province in the northeast to the plain of Helmand province in the southwest of Afghanistan under the banner of Taliban. The Inter-Service Intelligence of Pakistan (ISI) once again, involved for the last 30 years in Afghanistan conflict, opened the arming conduits of the tribal area, once were the strategic corridors of arming Mujahideen who toppled the Pro-Soviet regime in Kabul and defeated the Red Army. This time another invasion, ISI intelligence, and another afghan generation who victoriously defeated the mujahiddin warlords and cornered them in two northeastern provinces just before September 11, 2001. The mujahiddin warlords did not gain knowledge of their first slip-up, while they were ruling the country from 1992 to 1996, but they actually put more fuel to rebuke more Pushtun in the south, east, and west of the country. Now, eight years later, we see a mature resistance against NATO and US
soldiers that can not stop the enormously uncontainable ,Pushtun, insurgency that has many regional and international zip codes that support them, arm them, and deliver their drugs to international markets for cash.
The new Taliban, who control majority of the rural, south, east, and west, has two main advantageous points. first, the correlation of ISI that give them arms and outsiders (suicidal bombers); second, the rural south, east, and west area of Afghanistan where they recruit young Pushtuns to fight against foreign forces, Afghan government, and humanitarian organizations by exploding IED’s to wipe out more convoys of foreign troops, Afghan army, and police. These two points have been in Taliban’s errand since2002 until now. Beside these two calculated points, they are investing on the heart and soul of the rural Pushtun; because, they deliver justice more swiftly and powerfully, while, on the other hand the Afghan government’s justice is corrupt, ineffective, time consuming and expensive.
The Afghan cabinet, majority of them, are not equipped with today’s art of managing to run their departments. These officials have the tools of lips service; conversely, modern demanding requires more skill to give primary service to the people. For example, one can see the roads of Kabul city. The corrupted contractors and the corrupted officials in order to steal more money from road building, they have formed a secluded alliance for profiting and plundering. From the 100 percent of the funds for road project in the city barely they spend 30 percent of it with low-grade materials that has a life expectancy of one cold winter of Kabul. The debilities of corruption culture has perforated in all ranks and files inside the government of Afghanistan, and the possibility of rooting out such a dreadful culture almost infeasible by one person who hold the title of the presidency of Afghanistan.
The agonizing dilemma of unemployment among Afghans is one of the most important components of continuation of war in Afghanistan. Taliban recruit their fighters among unemployed and distressed Afghans whom the government has neglected them in every avenue of human prosperity and human dignity. Unemployment and the factor of illiteracy, among Afghans, have pushed them to the brink of unconsciousness to destroy their own country without pondering. In such fertile environment terrorism pierce its claws into heart and mind of Afghan people and prevail exponentially in every district and every village of Afghanistan.
Afghan people voted for the president of the country, but the president Karzai indirectly share power with warlords. Warlordism is the most hated phenomenon; therefore, the people of Afghanistan stood side by side with the Taliban in 1996 to crash the warlords. Today, the same warlords introduce their followers as district chiefs to Karzai, and Karzai appoint them. Blackened and discolored characters once again have taken the knurls of power to rule districts of Afghanistan, and the voiceless people don’t have the means to reach the elected president to ask him to remove the corrupted officials. In fact, hundreds of prosecutors have been sacked by the warlords before even complaints of people reach to the courts. In the last two elections, the people of Afghanistan have given their power to the president and limited their rights for the sake of establishing a lawful government, but now they see every right they had have been seized by the warlords.
Unless the international donors do not lay fundamental restrictions on funds funneling, there is no immediate solution to the riddles of dishonesty among government officials. The international community must monitor the flow of funds from drop to droop, and there should not be any space lift for opportunist criminals to have a reaching hand on the aid; furthermore, the managing of the funds must be supervised, by experts. If the international community lay purification of governance on president Karzai shoulders, he will not be able to unfold such a complex functions with out expert teams in the field, something he lacks for the last eight years.
The international community must encourage president Karzai to form an independent prosecutorial commission to prosecute the accused members of his government whenever the attorney general of Afghanistan press charges on them. The above-mentioned prosecutorial commission must have the total freedom to act on behalf of the people of Afghanistan with the back up of international inter pool and FBI. While, the alleged officials are under the custody of the police, all the assets of the accused officials must be frozen by the order of the prosecutorial commission during the trials. These trials will bring confidence between the government and the people.
Unemployment, the real enemy of democracy and a stable government, is a key encounter to peace and a resolute stamina for Taliban muscle. Between six to eight million unemployed Afghans are striving currently, and millions of Afghans in Pakistan and Iran are under severe pressure economically. The gradual return of Afghan refugees from Iran and Pakistan would amplify the tragedy of current unemployment in Afghanistan many fold. Without a proper economic strategy, every dimension of Afghanistan’s political, economical, and social gain, if there are some, colloid enormously, and the Taliban will reach swiftly to the gates of big cities just like the year 1992.
Instability in Afghanistan will expand if the coalition forces do not Afghanizationize the war. Afghans know how to fight there own Afghans and foreign enemies. Previous invasions of Afghanistan had proven that the more the foreign troops station in Afghanistan the less effective they become on Afghans’ insurgency. A clear example of Afghanization of war was the war of Jalalabad in Nangarhar province in 1988 when Pakistan directed the war of Jalalabad and determined to capture the city to establish an interim government for Mujahiddin, but it happened to be a disaster. Pakistan was defeated with mujahiddin in that war, and there were Afghans who fought fearlessly. To win the war in Afghanistan the coalition forces must train an effective Afghan army of 250,000 soldiers and a 200,000 strong Police force with 100,000 professional secrete police. These numbers will be less costly on NATO shoulders than to operate an army of 150,000 NATO troops. A year costs of coalition forces will build the Afghan security forces. Within five years, the afghan army and police will bring security in every village of Afghanistan, and NATO forces could decrease its forces to around 20,000, only as supportive force in bases of Bagram, Kandahar, Helmand, Herat, and Mazar-e-Sharif.
Illiteracy is another feverish and prolific habitat for Taliban, where to hunt innocent children, and train them as suicidal. Taliban use children as age of seven even younger to use them as baits to kill innocent civilians and government and coalition forces. In some cases, Taliban even take the parents of the children as hostages in order to blow up their children. On the other hand, Poverty among Afghans pushes them to sell their children to Taliban. In fact, Taliban play more vital role among poor Afghan population than the central government does. The government should have a clear and systematic strategy to educate the children of Afghanistan.
The poor roads that connect Afghanistan to its six neighbors, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, and China, is vital to the stability and prosperity of Afghanistan. These rugged terrains play a treasure card for Taliban to attack its enemies from every ditch and den, and for the government of Afghanistan, these impassable roads, cost billions of dollars of transit cash flow. if the roads were paved for heavy transits from four strategic sea ports of Bander Abbas and Chah Bahar in Iran and Guader and Karachi in Pakistan, the CIS (Common Wealth of Independent States) would play an utmost role for the stability and modernization of Afghanistan.
Since Afghanistan located between Central Asia and Indian Ocean, China and Europe, Alternative energy is the most important issue regard to global warming, because Afghanistan has the second highest mountain in the world, and climate changing will affect on the population of Afghanistan as well as Pakistan and the world. Alternative transportation system in big cities such as electrical bus systems and modern railroads to connect Afghanistan to its neighbors and fuel-efficient trucks for transportation of goods both inside and outside of Afghanistan, in addition, the fuel-efficient cars will be a wise investment for the protection of environment. Putting effort on Alternative energy will create employment for hundreds of thousand of people.
Afghanistan can be a successful country if it concentrates on a significant sector, which is agriculture, herding cattle and sheep, farming poultry and fish. By diverting the hydropower, Afghanistan has plentiful land for agriculture with varieties of climates. A modern agricultural system could accommodate thousands of agricultural products that could feed more than eighty million people, and more than six million unemployed people will find their destinies in agricultural and herding sectors. If not agriculture, Taliban will plant its seeds in these people. Without a proper agricultural system, Afghanistan has no chance of development in the near future. To this day from the year 2002, almost 40 billion dollar has pitched into Afghanistan’s basket by donor countries, especially the United States. If half of these resources were invested in agriculture and herding, today, the international community had a different picture of Afghan People.
From the 9/11 attack through FY2009 Department of Defense has spend $227 billion dollar for war operation in Afghanistan, and now NATO’s top commander general McChrystal assesses the war in Afghanistan and proposes additional troops, means additional expenses, to defeat the insurgency in that country. Without the additional troop, victory in Afghanistan seems infeasible and US should withdraw from the country.
Even though, if McChrystal received his proposed troop increase, but the defeat of the Taliban will not be overnight. Another ten to fifteen years required if situations in other sectors do not improve dramatically, and Afghanistan neighbors get assurances that NATO in their back yard does not compose any instability in their countries. The defeat of Taliban in Afghanistan means more killing of Pushtuns, and especially, after the fuzzy election, the broadening of more fronts in northern Afghanistan is immanent, and there will be more solidarity with Pushtuns.
The United States now wants to draw a brand new strategy for Afghanistan to tackle with controversial and problematic eight years of Afghanistan government and brings clarity and accountability to this government, but unfortunately, Afghanistan government lacks the potential to approach such a husky past eight years. What the government of Afghanistan theoretically prescribes to the world is nothing more than buying time for more corruptions and more filthy deals in its system of governance, unless the United States rolls up the sleeves to bring fundamental change to the sustenance of Afghan people.
As an Afghan American who has deep knowledge in Afghanistan history and politics, I would like to express my concern in the situation in Afghanistan.
The United States must take a decisive and determined action to help the people of Afghanistan by proposing a 120 billion dollar agricultural and road building marshal plan in Afghanistan by inviting all of the developed countries by convening an international conference as a part of the new strategy for Afghanistan. The proposed marshal plan can create between six to eight million jobs for unemployed Afghan people, the main factor of war and corruption. Without an agricultural and road building marshal plan for Afghanistan to change the country to a model agricultural state, the continuation of war will swallow over 500 billon more dollar and added body bags and grievances for the world community for the next eight years. By implementation of the agricultural and road building marshal plans, Afghanistan would be able to stand on its own feet economically and support its own security forces of up to 550 thousands from its treasury of a modern agricultural state. The building of modern roads and connecting Afghanistan to many developing states in Central Asia, Afghanistan will play a vital roll in commerce between north and south, east and west in Central Asia and Indian subcontinent.
What is the most important part of this marshal plan is the administering and execution of 120 billion dollar to overhaul the economy of Afghanistan. While the progress in the agricultural and road building continues, the Afghan government must demonstrate the aptitude to prevail the principals of governance to manage a modern agricultural state after five years. The United States defense department must be the sole enforcer of this marshal plan with direct accountability to the White House and the United States Congress, not the Afghan government. The overhauling of governance in Afghanistan must be a priority in the execution of new strategy in Afghanistan. Furthermore, if the new strategy responds to the proposal of General McChrystal, 40 thousand troop’s deployment, the bulk of this deployment must be experts of government building and trainers to strengthen the security force of Afghanistan. The new administration of President Karzai must give government posts to the experts, from the cabinet to the district chiefs, and the new strategy for Afghanistan must tighten the flow of cash to Karzai administration if he does not realize the concern of Afghan people and international communities.