The Role of the USA in Afghanistan
In the Middle East, there have been historical conflicts covering the neighboring Arab Nations. These countries have always engaged in bitter conflicts, which have attracted the intervention of other countries with the US taking the lead. The Middle East is one of the regions of the world that have faced serious political instability. The region plays host to significant historical antagonist states of the world, which are Palestine, Israel and Iran. These countries have had endless geographical disagreements which often result in wars. The war between these states has been a key contributor to the unrest witnessed in the Middle East. This is because the war takes different dimensions, for instance, religious affiliations.
The Muslim extremists have quite often come out strong in support of Palestinians. This, therefore, called for increased protection of Israel by the International Community. This was especially due to the historical injustice that was metered out to the Jews by Adolf Hitler’s regime (Coll, 2004). For so long, America has always had issues with Arab countries especially Iraq and Afghanistan.
The world sees it as the war with US troops milling in these countries and terrorist attacks, the most recent of which was that of September 11 on the World Trade Centre twin towers in one of the USA’s greatest cities, New York. This essay covers the current situation between the USA and Muslim countries majoring on Afghanistan and Iraq. There have been rumors concerning how America treats these countries and informs those who were ignorant. The Afghan people clearly do not take the same view of their relationship with the Americans the same way as America does. While America insists on being of immense assistance to these countries, the latter concern its involvement in their governments as oppressive and colonial. The September 11 attack was unquestionably defiance, an expression of their disregard for the U.S. Recently, American troops left Iraq after being in its territory for decades.
The Middle East and Western countries have been vital trade partners. However, terrorism activities targeting the West with their origin in the East have been a serious threat to these international relations. This has made the West more interested in the Middle East's current events. This explains the importance of the policy that the U.S. should adopt in regard to nuclear weapons in the Middle East. A review of earlier policies that the U.S. adopted in regard to nuclear weapons in this region is paramount in asserting why bolstering the global non-proliferation regime is the only way forward for the United States.
The American government believes that their relationship with other nations and history makes them a target for terrorists. With increased security across borders and American skies, it is hard for a terrorist group to launch attacks on American land. This follows a directive by the minister of defense after the 9/11. Acts labeled as acts of terrorism have continued to be reported in the United States long after the 9/11.
America played a highly crucial role in the elimination of the Taliban regime in October 2001. Taliban was a group sponsored by terrorist to oust the Al Qaeda group of terrorists which was based in Afghanistan. During that period, Afghanistan extremely suffered economically, and a lot of properties were destroyed. During that time, George W. Bush who was the president of the United States of America promised to work with Afghanistan to reconstruct the country and in making sure that they would not house international terrorists anymore (Felton, 2002). George W. Bush said that America would be supportive to all individuals who would present themselves as freedom and peace lovers in their effort to promote democracy (Nimer, 2002). The United States of America presented itself as a nation that worked towards peace promotion and as a nation that intended to maintain a good relationship with the Muslim countries.
Basing on the fact that American promised to be of help to Afghanistan, it was crucial that they work together with Afghanistan in their efforts to reconstruct their country. The United States of America should have proved to the Muslims that they had their interest at heart, and they were a trustable nation. America should also provide aid and security to Afghanistan.
There are claims by the US government officials that they have materially assisted in the improvement of the welfare of the Afghanistan residents. They have played a vital role in improving the security and political infrastructure through the introduction of modern democracy. For a long time, the Taliban regime had been extremely repressive, but with the help of the US Afghanistan has been liberated.
Women and girls have tremendously benefited after the end of the repressive Taliban rules. Today, gender equality is being an exercise in Afghanistan unlike before when women had no equal rights with men in the country. The American Liberation led to the reopening of girls’ schools in the country and the number of women being educated increased tremendously. In addition, a great amount of women in the country are now working. After modern democracy was established in Afghanistan, this was an exceedingly considerable achievement in a Muslim country. Today, other Muslim nations are being pressured to acquire modern democracy (Klausen, 2005).
Despite the fact that there are nations that feel America has been of a great help by bringing livelihood and welfare to Afghanistan, not all western commentators agree to that. Although there are people who point out that Afghanistan welfare has vastly improved after the intervention by the USA, there are other individuals who insist that life in Afghanistan is even worse than it was before. With the repression of women, increased security problems and human rights being further violated, they consider the situation in Afghanistan as deteriorating. The United States of America backs the Afghanistan warlords who intimidate the Afghan people.
The often attacks that take place in the country disappoint the efforts to improve their living standards. Girls who attend school get attacked their way to school; girls schools highly suffer from violent attacks, increased cases of human rights being violated, among other evils on the rise, and the progress America has made is extremely small compared to the many crimes that have rapidly increased. Other Muslim nations which America has intervened, especially Iraq, are distressed of its intervention after the introduction of the Faulty American policy in Afghanistan.
However, it has been noted that a good number of Afghan residents have highly appreciated Americans contributions in the improvement of their welfare (Césari, 2004). They feel that they hope is being restored back. They thank America for the improved infrastructure, increased number of girls’ and children attending schools, and the new constitution that advocates that human rights should be respected. The constitution also fights against oppression of the refugees who are increasingly returning back to their country. Today, the economy of Afghanistan is growing steadily, and this is a fantastic achievement for the country. Afghanistan residents acknowledge that the changes have resulted from the establishment of modern democracy, absence of the Taliban regime and America.
Although the Afghanistan government officials do not fully appreciate American intervention, they indicate that the livelihood of their people has improved, and they are hopeful for a better future. Before, they were in a state of despair and desperation, when violence and destruction was the order of the day. They are grateful to America for peace restoration, education and development which would have never been achieved so soon.
The Islam fundamentalists are extremely unhappy because of the American rather forceful occupation. They feel that their privacy was violated, and they urge their fellow Muslims to be loyal to Islamic norms and maintain brotherhood. They say that the Agreement between the people of their country and Americans whose culture and religion are different from theirs is forced. They insist that Islamic way of life remains best to them, and they are not ready to appreciate modernity and other decent ways of life with they are being forced to adopt. Among the people who are in the forefront of complaining is Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Afghan warlord who insists that he speaks for many Afghans. He insists that the Americans should leave their country. He points out that the regular attacks by Afghan rebels on foreigners clearly indicates that the Afghans are not pleased by the American intervention. In the Letter that they wrote to the President of the United States of America, the people of Afghanistan indicate that it would be unreasonable to repeat such an invasion to any other country in the world.
Hekmatyar has enough support from so many Afghans in the Claim that the United States did not keep its promise, and they have no hope that the promises will ever be fulfilled. They are also discouraged by the poor communication of their feelings of discontent to the American government. There are parts in Afghanistan where citizens are still suffering from oppressive power, and there are still patiently waiting for the American government to keep its promise of helping the county eliminate oppressive leadership. The Revolutionary Association of Women of Afghanistan (RAWA) states that America has done nothing to improve the condition of women who are still being oppressed with inhuman punishments and are still under repressive rules. For example, there are areas where women receive brutal murder when they commit religious offences. America has not yet honored its pledge to protect women, fight for their rights and improve their welfare.
Most of the individuals who are not yet contented with the role of the USA in Afghanistan feel that America does not care about Afghan people, but rather it is there for its own good and to further its own interest (Arnold, 1993). The evidence that has been provided to support the view that America is in Afghanistan to further its own economic and political interest is that America is constantly ignoring the fact that Afghan residents are displeased with warlords and their repressive governance.
America has betrayed Afghanistan before hence betraying its trust and the recent failures by America to honor its promises are just worsening the situation. The United States betrayed Afghanistan in 1970s and 1980s when it left the country after the withdrawal of the Soviets from Afghanistan. The country was left under the mercy of the cruel and destructive Taliban regime, and thus the country suffered serious harm. So many afghan residents had to flee to other countries, and there was a tremendous increase in the number of refugees
Afghanistan became a safe training ground for terrorists, and they had a lot of support from the Taliban regime. During this time, the United States of America did not show any concern to Afghanistan, and they, therefore, destroyed the trust that Afghanistan people had in them. The USA has managed to gain some trust from the Afghan residents who have benefited from their efforts to rebuild Afghanistan. However, the citizens who have not yet benefited from the intervention can only trust America after they benefit. They are not sure of benefiting, and if they will benefit, they are not confident it will be long term benefit.
Although Americans have already come a long way in their efforts of helping the people of Afghanistan, they still have a long way to go. This does not mean that they have not done much for Afghanistan, but they are yet to fulfill what they promised to the residents of Afghanistan. Considering the situation in Afghanistan before American intervention, it is true that America has shown a lot of concern to the people of Afghanistan. It is obvious that it will take a lot of time before Afghanistan is considered a developed country. So many things are yet to change in Afghanistan. Women are still being oppressed; more than ninety percent of the Afghan residents are still uneducated, and life expectancy is a t forty eight percent, which is still remarkably low, only forty eight percent of the people of Afghanistan gets to adulthood. The infrastructure of the country is physically damaged, the economy of the country is also ruined entirely, and the earth is still full of land mines. Landmines placed underground have made the limbs of thousands of Afghans amputated.
For Afghanistan to be a developed country a lot of manpower and skill is required, and at the same time, Afghan people have to be extraordinarily patient. The step that has been taken by America is a positive step though extremely challenging. However, some of the Afghanistan residents are opposing them thus making the work of America even more challenging. Nevertheless, the USA has an intention to make Afghanistan a better place, and it does not matter whether it satisfy its own interests or not.
The truth remains that America has played, and it is still playing a good role in the development of Afghanistan. When Afghanistan becomes a well developed democratic country, it will no longer be serving American economic and political interests. Thus, Afghanistan should appreciate the efforts of the Americans because it is for its own good (Césari, 2010).
If the US would want to be a counter insurgence, it would have launched a war on the Taliban group, such as the case in 2001 where the effort made was to end terror, but a war ensued where many Afghans lost their lives (Einfeld, 2005). Therefore, if the United States army is called for humanitarian assistance, its definition as a counterinsurgency would be in poor taste in that it has a history of declaring war on Afghanistan. Besides the Afghanistan government being seized by insurgents, it has read in media sources the number of countries faced by the same predicament of insurgents such as the Libya government which poses itself as the insurgent against the wishes of its people.
Iraq almost faced with the same predicament insurgents that threatened security of the neighboring countries and to the government itself. So if the United States counterinsurgency was aimed at controlling terror in the world, the purpose of them as counterinsurgency threatens peace other than ensuring a calm situation. The Taliban in that case could pose itself as the insurgent to the Afghan government since it was responsible for allowing operations against terror in their land.
The US policymakers deliberated on the effectiveness of deterrence policy to strengthen Iran’s neighbors to enable them deal with nuclear menace. This policy was strongly advocated by President George W. Bush’s administration. This administration is reported to have provided a total amount of $ 20 billion to Saudi-Arabia for arms package. This was given out so as to strengthen Saudi Arabia in terms of military stability. This stability was established. This policy saw the strengthening of ties between the USA and Israel, an issue which continues to cause havoc in Iran. It appears as if the policy makers forgot the fact that Israel was a nuclear state. By pursuing this policy, the USA was putting the entire Middle East at risk. There was little or no consideration of what would happen if, for instance, Israel launched attacks against Iran’s nuclear facility and lost the attack. This would eventually result to nuclear arms race in the Middle East.
Dealing with the nuclear weapons threat in the Middle East requires more sober policy; a policy that will not be seen as being partial by any of the countries from the region. It has to be issue based quite in line with the NPT provisions. This way, it will not be seen as targeting a specific state and hence, will have the ability to bring normalcy through the dialogue in the region. It is, therefore, desired that the USA adopts the global non-proliferation regime as a policy through which to tackle the Middle East nuclear weapons menace.
There are a number of theories that explain the continuing of this conflict. Below is a discussion on some of these theories.
Greed versus grievances is one of the theories that bring out opposing arguments on the civil causes of war. This theory argues that conflicts are caused by people who are self centered, and their desire is self-enrichment. Their desires and motivations manifest in different ways. Greed is the main cause of conflicts and a state ends up losing economically, and the poverty level rises. A group known as Taliban in Asia along Afghani-Pakistan border has been involving itself in greed base insurgency since the year 2001 (Griffin, 2001). It opposes Hamid Karzai’s transitional government which has the support of NATO and the United States.
There is a large diaspora that funds this group known as Taliban. The Taliban gets support from their brethren the Pakistani Pashtun and the wealthy Arabs in the Middle East. This two groups fund Taliban to enhance conflict, and this is a perfect example of greed based argument. The Taliban draws revenue from natural resources predation, and hence they are able to fund their activities.
On the other hand, organizational theory explains confusing behavior or developments which regularly occur in politicized group conflicts, for example, unpopular regimes, and why some outwardly profitable strategies are never adopted. The theory argues that Taliban eliminated its rivals by undermining the ability of local leaders to maintain the loyalty of their own leaders. This was by skillfully manipulating persuasive regional rivalries among chieftains. It also explains the failure of the United States to consolidate a royal state in Afghanistan after it unseated the Taliban.
The United States of America being a powerful and well developed nation, it has the capacity to make a significant impact on a third world country. Initially, it has been accused of dumping countries especially after the incidence of ignoring Afghanistan in the 1970s and 1980s. However, it is clear that the aim of the United States of America is to make Afghanistan a better place and also ensure that the people of Afghanistan are free from oppressive rules. They have had their way, which has led to the establishment of democracy in Afghanistan, and they are still working with the country to ensure economic growth and development. Although some of the Muslims feel that they are being forced to be modernized and educated, it is for their own good that America is doing this. When America intervened in Iraq, many people died, and a lot of destruction took place. However, later, the people of Iraq embraced peace, and today, a lot of positive changes have taken place in Iraq (Césari, 2004).