What can one expect after coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan?
Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 14 / Trend /
Trend commentator Arzu Naghiyev
What can one expect after coalition forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan?
After the Americans leave, the Taliban may come to power and the "delicate balance" may be ruined.
Experience shows that the post-war situation in Afghanistan cannot be too different from that in Iraq. It is known that the propagandizing Sunni Taliban will turn into an implacable enemy of Shiite Iran. After the Taliban comes to power, confrontation will increase not only between Central Asian countries and Afghanistan, but with Iran as well.
The first meeting of re-elected U.S. President Barack Obama and Afghan President Hamid Karzai was held in the White House on Friday.
As expected, the issues of providing Afghan police and patrol forces with necessary things, truce programs between opposing forces and details of bilateral cooperation agreements in the field of security were mainly discussed at the meeting.
One of the main topics of the talks was the plan for withdrawing NATO main forces from Afghanistan, which is scheduled to be fully complete by the end of next year.
According to information from the U.S. Central Command, there are 68,000 U.S. servicemen in Afghanistan today. Despite the fact that the number of servicemen that will remain in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of troops in 2014 was discussed at the meeting, a final decision on this issue was not reached.
One of the U.S's main problems is China's increasing role in trying to actively expand its diplomatic and cultural presence, as well as China's implementation of various micro-projects in the region, ranging from pipeline laying to infrastructure establishment.
Chinese authorities strengthen their control by implementing various development projects in the province of Xinjiang, on the border with Central Asia, on which territorial claims are made, and then try to suppress nationalist sentiments among the local Uighur population.
The population of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is mainly composed of Muslim Uighurs. The region has a 5,600 km long land border with eight states. The province borders Mongolia, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The most turbulent border is the 80 km one with Afghanistan.
However, this issue has another side. Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the Chinese government began to lead an 'international fight against terrorism' against Uighur extremists. In general, the separatists do not control the situation in Xinjiang, as government authorities in China are able to wage successful efforts against them and are aware of the fact that those who want to weaken China will surely take advantage of the "Uighur" trump card at any time.
The U.S. has been for a long time negotiating with the Taliban on the post withdrawal situation. It is obvious that the question of China, or rather Xinjiang has been raised during the course of these negotiations.
It is well known that the White House is trying to take advantage of the questions that create certain difficulties in bilateral negotiations with China. Thus, after the complete withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in 2014, operations against China can be deployed in the region.
Therefore, while analyzing the policy to be held towards Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Western coalition forces, one must consider the fact that along with resolving questions about Afghanistan, Washington must also have a special plan for the continuation of work on the issue. That's why the White House intends to keep more than 50,000 soldiers in Afghanistan.
Despite the fact that President Hamid Karzai often criticizes U.S. policy in Afghanistan, he agreed to keep U.S. forces in the country during a meeting with Obama out of concern for his and his country's destiny.