Additional U.S. troops cannot stabilize Afghanistan

Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 16 / Trend , D.Ibrahimova/ Domestic situation in Afghanistan will not be stabilized, despite the increasing number of U.S. troops in the country.

"I'm not optimistic about the future of American forces [in Afghanistan]. History provides many examples when foreign troops failed to establish security in the country," Robert McChesney, professor at the Illinois University and an expert on Afghanistan, told Trend .

George Bush, who arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday evening, said at a press conference on Monday that the U.S. would continue its participation in the attempts to stabilize situation in Afghanistan. U.S. plans to increase the number of its troops from 30,000 to 50,000 starting from the beginning of 2009.

"The biggest part of the new contingent will be stationed in Loger and Meydanvardak areas, 100 kilometers from the border with Pakistan, where Taliban's main forces are concentrated," Afghan military expert, MP Hilaladdin Hilal told Trend .

U.S. started a war in Afghanistan in 2001 to combat a fundamentalist Islamic movement of Taliban and to capture the terrorist Osama bin Laden. Neither of the goals has been achieved with Taliban still operating and bin Laden still at large.

The American forces in Afghanistan find themselves in a similar situation to the Soviet army in 1984 when it took part in the war for political control between government forces and opposition.

Experts think that stability will not be reached after the arrival of additional troops because both external and internal forces must be involved in the process.

Additional troops could help stabilize Afghanistan, but this will be difficult without improvements in the administrative effectiveness of the Afghan government, Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow for Defence Policy at the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations and an expert on Afghanistan, told Trend via e-mail.

One of the obstacles for establishing stability in Afghanistan is corruption in the government.

Afghanistan was named the most corrupt state by the international anti-corruption organization Transparency International in its 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index published in September.

"The historic, endemic, and debilitating phenomenon of corruption may be the most important problem facing the Afghan people," McChesney told Trend via e-mail.

"Clearly the Americans will not be able to ensure stability in Afghanistan because they have no ability to combat the corruption," expert said.

According to the Afghan military expert Hilaladdin Hilal, expansion of foreign troops shows incompetence of the Afghan government.

The actions of the Americans, along with corruption in Afghanistan, are an obstacle to establishing stability in the country.

"American policy makers fail to understand the historic importance of local [Afghan] culture, the general suspicion of Kabul," McChesney said to Trend .

Experts believe that in order to overcome instability in Afghanistan corruption must be eradicated first.

The only long-term hope may be a federal system of government which gives real power and resources to local governments, McChesney said.

Have feedback? Contact our journalist at trend@trend.az

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