Methods of Engagement in Afghanistan

Kenyan security forces are currently battling terrorists who took over the Westgate Mall in Nairobi four days ago, killing close to 70 people so far and wounding hundreds.

The terrorist belong to Somalia based Al Shabaab which has recruits from many nations including Afghanistan.

There is fear that terrorists being churned out of Afghanistan will strengthen links with Al Shabaab in East Africa and extend links to Boko Haram in West Africa, spreading mayhem.

Afghanistan remains a constant reminder to all why nations must not be allowed to fail while those that fail must be supported to rise.

The international community has made significant gains towards stabilizing Afghanistan since 2001. Today, Afghanistan has a new constitution and a fairly representative government.

However, the efforts will not mean much unless Afghanistan is put under the full control of its own security forces.

Every effort must therefore be made to ensure that the goal of letting Afghan forces take over the country by 2014 is realized. The Afghan army’s takeover of all military and security operations from NATO last June is therefore uplifting. The international community will however need to continue providing technical and financial support to the country.

Afghanistan’s problems stem from a combination of religious, cultural and political issues, all of which have a direct bearing on its economy.

The Taliban claim moral and cultural superiority and purity over the western nations that have taken the lead in stabilizing the nation.

The import of this is that Afghanistan’s immediate neighbors and other Muslim nations must take frontline in future efforts to stabilize the country.

The Muslim nations will need to recognize the successes made so far and find ways of moving beyond duplication and building on the success.

More time-bound programs to consolidate the gains need to be agreed on by the international community.

Such programs must aim at strengthening of support for legitimate and inclusive political processes, the rule of law and post-conflict reconstruction.

The development of a national Afghan security force is therefore urgent. A nucleus Afghan national army must be established, possibly integrating members of the militia groups, who will need to be retrained.

Finally, Afghans must be made to understand that in the end, the destiny of their nation will depend on their willingness to make sacrifices, compromises and hard choices. The world will only be there to support.