Afghan elections become another western imposed process: senior research fellow on Afghanistan & Pakistan issues

The United States, Sept. 23 / Trend , N.Bogdanova/

Interview with Senior Research Fellow on Afghanistan and Pakistan issues, based Washington DC Matthew P. Dearing, who has served in the recent years on the U.S. Marine Corps, current the Research Associate of Program for Culture & Conflict Studies of Naval Postgraduate School.

Trend : Is it possible that the massive riots and protest actions against results of the president election in Afghanistan can put the legitimacy of the whole process under suspicion? Especially if the presidency of Karzai is confirmed how will that influence the image of Taliban?

Matthew P. Dearing: The elections were never really considered legitimate by the majority of Afghans. Many in the urban areas voted and held a general perception that the elections had some semblance of legitimacy, but the great majority of rural, village Afghans (which compose nearly 80 percent of the population) had little interest in the election process, which they perceived as an international scam to legitimize a corrupt regime that they hardly ever see. Elections, while a noble endeavor, are unfortunately another western imposed process that has not been met with proper institutional mechanisms needed to support the democratic initiative. Kabul does not have the power, influence or structural capacity to represent itself outside the urban and provincial capitals, thus few Afghans experience the presence of central government. Those times Afghans do experience the government, it is unfortunately when being shaken down by National Police or facing a defunct judiciary that awards justice to the wealthy and powerful. Karzai will face significant problems as his election will not be seen as legitimate. How Abdullah reacts and whether he organizes a resistance effort will be a interesting to watch. I suspect intense efforts are underway by Afghans and international governments to convince Abdullah to support Karzai.

Q: A number of new strategies to rebuilt stability in Afghanistan are currently been use in the country. What were the problems of previous strategies and what should be done now?

A: Part of the problem has been pushing the reach of the central government without an equally intense effort at building capacity at the local level. Some strategies focused on local development efforts like the National Solidarity Program, were very successful but were given limited funding. NSP projects were actually protected by local villagers and subsequently
went untargeted by Taliban insurgents, whereas many projects emanating from international forces via Provincial Reconstruction Teams have been highly targeted. The key to successful reconstruction in Afghanistan is to focus development on the local level and merge those with existing provincial level infrastructure projects.

Q: It is believed that the Taliban are fighting against foreign forces in Afghanistan, but until 1996 they were fighting against local government. Do you believe that if the foreign forces are out of the country then Taliban will weaken their activity?

A: If foreign forces leave Afghanistan; a civil war will break out. The only structure preventing warlords, tribes and clans from fighting each other is the presence of a perceived external enemy - the west, i.e. the US. The Kabul government would certainly fall were international forces to leave.

The city would be divided into sectarian sections - Hazara, Uzbek, Tajik, Pashtun as was the case in 1996. Pakistan would provide support to Pashtun elements, likely a Taliban alliance led by either Mullah Omar or Berader. Civilian deaths would be in the hundreds of would be a disaster. While our presence in Afghanistan is not a perfect solution, it is much better than a complete withdrawal, which would throw the country into complete chaos.

Q: Do you believe that Afghan Taliban and Pakistani Taliban are the same group, or there are two separate ones?

A: These are two separate groups with separate goals and aspirations. In general, the Afghan Taliban is focused on driving US forces and western influence out of Afghanistan and ensuring the Afghan government is a legitimate Islamic government. In general, Pakistani Taliban are supportive of the US cause but are more focused on what they see as a corrupt and
illegitimate civilian government in Pakistan. They have been inspired by the rebellion in Afghanistan and distraught by the alignment between the US and Pakistan that developed since Musharraf gave in to US demands post-9/11. There are many different factions within each of these groups that hold a variety of aspirations and motivations. Thus, one should be careful when they say the Taliban want this or that - one needs to distinguish which Taliban (Hezbi-i-Islami, Haqqani Network, Torra Bora Group, Quetta Shura, TTP, TNSM, etc.). While all of these can be placed under one umbrella or the other, they all have different locally and regionally focused imperatives.

Kazakhstan boosts trade with Tajikistan despite COVID-19
Kazakhstan boosts trade with Tajikistan despite COVID-19
Georgia, Tajikistan contribute to intensification of cargo transit
Georgia, Tajikistan contribute to intensification of cargo transit
Regional Gender Expert Group to be set up for CAREC Gender Strategy implementation
Regional Gender Expert Group to be set up for CAREC Gender Strategy implementation
Loading Bars
Armenia falsified Caucasian Albania temples in Azerbaijan - rep of religious community
Iran to send trade attaché to Azerbaijan
Weekly review of major events in Azerbaijan's oil & gas sector
Azerbaijan shares footage from Jabrayil's Dash Veysalli village (VIDEO)
Armenia strived to create history for itself in Azerbaijan's lands - Head of Albanian-Udi community
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for April 17
Volume of loaded and unloaded cargo in Iran’s Charak port climbs
Azerbaijani oil prices on rise
VICE News report on Armenia's attack on Azerbaijani Barda nominated for award
Weekly review of main events in ICT sector of Azerbaijan
Earnings from fuel savings in Iran paid to investors
Uzbekistan's CCI, Portuguese Industrial Association establish co-op
Buy/sell operations at Iran Mercantile Exchange soar
Rosatom, Uzbekistan working on contract for building nuclear power plant
Turkmenistan to create electronic exchange database
IMF calls on Georgia to reduce capital expenditures in case of lockdown
Russia reports a new high of 9,321 coronavirus cases since March 20
Azerbaijan's Albanian-Udi Christian community members visit ancient temple in Tugh - Trend TV (PHOTO)
OSCE MG should force Armenia to follow terms of trilateral statement - Azerbaijan's Parliament
Weekly review of Azerbaijani currency market
Azerbaijan, Turkic Council discuss creation of joint digital tools
Weekly review of Azerbaijani precious metals market
EU rep should follow int'l law before meeting with separatist in Karabakh - expert
Potential areas of Turkmenistan’s interaction within Visegrad Group+Central Asia framework identified
Georgia reports 1,219 new coronavirus cases for April 17
Georgia holds auction for privatization of state property
Azerbaijani MP talks about spring session of IPA CIS held in Russia's St. Petersburg
Georgia continues to conduct research on Namakhvani HPP
Iran unveils details exports from Maragheh County
Kazakhstan reveals total number of TEU containers shipped along Aktau-Baku feeder line
There have always been good grape varieties in Pirshaghi – white and black Shani - President Aliyev
Participants of Azercell Student Bursary and Internship Programs share their success stories
Iran boosts aluminum ingots production
Azerbaijani police find mortar shells, detonators left by Armenia in Gubadly (VIDEO)
Iran declares amount of loans issued to SMEs
Kazakhstan's revenues from road cargo transportation down
Concept of ensuring security of Afghan section of TAPI signed
Members of Albanian-Udi Christian religious community of Azerbaijan visit liberated Khojavand (PHOTO)
Australia to continue review of COVID vaccinations - health minister
Italian media outlets highlight speech of Azerbaijani president at int'l conference in Baku
Kazakhstan decreases import of Ukraine-made goods y-o-y
Kazakh national atomic company's subsidiary opens tender to buy compressors
Azerbaijan sets up structure to work on urban planning in liberated lands
Kazakhstan's oil & gas company opens tender to develop consolidated time standards
Meeting of EU special rep with so-called "FM of Karabakh" promotes separatism, says Azerbaijani expert
Iranian currency rates for April 17
Iran to increase vaccinations as fourth wave of COVID-19 rises
Iran reaches target uranium enrichment
Oil demand to keep on rising in May, June 2021
Work on provision of electricity to Azerbaijan's liberated Sugovushan nearing completion
Bulgaria sees Georgia as valuable partner
Significant number of Georgian citizens register for employment program in Israel
Kazakhstan’s COVID-19 caseload up by 2,822
Ukraine receives first batch of Pfizer vaccine under COVAX initiative
IMF corrects estimate on Iran's foreign exchange bank reserves
Azerbaijan attracting foreign investments for renewable energy projects
Uzbekistan to open an embassy in Sweden
Global COVID-19 infection rate approaching highest: WHO
Portugal resumes flights to Brazil, Britain
Turkey reports over 63,000 daily COVID-19 cases
EU eyes to provide grants to Georgian non-profit organizations
Israel reports 41 new COVID-19 cases, 836,740 in total
Biden signs order keeping Trump-era refugee cap at 15,000
EU-UK trade plunges after Brexit: Eurostat
UK records another 2,596 coronavirus cases, 34 deaths
UN Security Council approves ceasefire monitors for Libya
North Macedonia vaccinates some 35,000 citizens
Raul Castro resigning from Cuba’s Communist Party
Azerbaijani IT company working on creating new network, server infrastructures
Georgian Economy Ministry to form expert council on Namakhvani HPP
Relations between Russia, Azerbaijan attain degree of strategic alliance - Federation Council Chair of Russian Federal Assembly
Turkish engineers develop fiber that kills coronavirus in minutes
Uzbekistan’s gold and foreign exchange reserves drop to $32.6 billion
Iran’s petrochemical output to reach $40b: Oil Minister
Relations within CIS IA to make comprehensive partnership ties more profound among member states - Chair of Azerbaijani Parliament (PHOTO)
Azerbaijani gymnasts win set of awards at Trampoline Hopes Cup tournament
Russia to permanently ban entry for eight US officials
Liabilities of Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank increase in 1Q2021
Azerbaijan's Kapital Bank completes 1Q2021 with profit
Azerbaijan’s production of oil and gas condensate down
Big share of Azerbaijan's GDP in Q1 2021 accounts for industrial sector
Azerbaijan announces date of next coupon payments on SOCAR bonds
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan increase trade turnover
Azerbaijani insurance company to increase volume of payouts
Georgia, Turkey have significant prospects for co-op in agriculture, forestry
Georgian 'Mambo Frost' company exports its products to Azerbaijan
Fighter aircraft crashes in Kazakhstan
Russia adds 8,995 COVID-19 cases
Head of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan summoned to Azerbaijani MFA
Georgian budget to save funds thanks to low-interest rate on new Eurobonds
Azerbaijan discloses number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,163 more COVID-19 cases, 2,251 recoveries
Frequency of regular flights between Georgia and Israel increases
Azerbaijani president, first lady sign obituary on famous film director’s death
Georgia not to revise 2021 budget
Volume of cargo exported by Azerbaijan via sea in 2021 disclosed
Raisina dialogue: Indo-Pacific epicentre of strategic competition, says Australia PM
Azerbaijan records sharp increase in cargo movement by air
Remittance inflows from Azerbaijan to Georgia show growth
Decrease in apartment prices in Georgia not expected - analyst
All news