Code 55179
PublishDate: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 17:52

Why should American troops remain in Afghanistan?

It is important that the US stay committed to their mission in Afghanistan.

 Since the invasion of Afghanistan by allied forces in 2001, the country’s destiny has in many ways not been its own. 

It is presided over by its main internal security operations, national defense capabilities and economic recovery rely almost entirely on a country that lies far away both geographically and culturally. 

Even before the 2001 US-led war on the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan did not enjoy the privilege of control over their own lives, they could not vote, they could not publicly criticize their government, and they could not dress as they wished.
Instead, they were forced to adhere to a strict and literal interpretation of Islamic code. 

The toppling of the Taliban regime did away with that. But, for most Afghans, there is little advantage in this, their lives are now controlled by a foreign army, a foreign culture, and, critically, some of the most important decisions regarding their country, such as whether to undertake a massive offensive against the Taliban in Helmand Province, are made on the other side of the world in Washington. 

That is not to say the US has replaced the Taliban, certainly not, for efforts have been made to develop the country’s war-torn infrastructure, to foster a culture of democratic leadership and debate, and to win over the trust of a weary and wary people. 

But even the best laid plans, with the best intentions, can go awry. Afghanistan is now the drug producing capital of the world. It was a drug producing haven before the war, but in the wake of the war, and faced with an economy battling to attract foreign investment amid on-going terror attacks, many have resorted to growing and harvesting that reliable old friend…opium. 

As US troops fight an unremitting war against Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, this trade flourishes and has become Afghanistan’s shameful little necessity, a necessity because for many it is their only way of producing an income. 

In 2009 the US vowed that it would not pull out of Afghanistan yet, insisting that the country was not yet stable enough to hold itself together without US support. 

It is important that the US stay committed to their mission in Afghanistan. Although their presence is expensive and exhausting to the American people (around 1000 US troops have been killed), and mostly annoying but sometimes tragic to the Afghan people (up to 28,000 civilians may have been killed as a direct result of US actions since the war began), it is none-the-less a period in history where the people of either country cannot fail, for the repercussions will be as great as the events of 9/11.
Many attribute the rise to power of the Taliban to US involvement in Afghanistan during the Cold War, when it was important the Russians fail in their invasion attempts. 

Without doubt, the powers that be in Washington and in the Pentagon, did not realize how long the war would actually take. There is a tendency in Washington to treat democracy like a computer program that needs to simply be installed in a ‘difficult’ country like Taliban-held Afghanistan. 

Democracy is something that must develop over decades, perhaps even centuries though. It took Europe hundreds of years to establish the democratic systems they have now, and when they exported it around the world it wreaked havoc in places like Africa where a coup happens almost every other month. 

The Middle East is similar, not because its people are somehow lacking, but because it has not been part of their culture for long enough. 

It is for this reason that America, and her allies, are committed to Afghanistan. They opened a box that cannot be easily shut, and if they fail to see through in the creation of a stable and democratic state, they will live with that legacy for generations to come. 
(Afghanistan News)

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