WASHINGTON: The United States should not abandon the post-war Afghanistan to avoid the ill effects that followed after it withdrew abruptly after the war against the Soviet invasion in the 1990s, and it must think about what comes next after peace arrives in that war-torn country, an analytical report said.
A week-long ceasefire has been offered by Afghan President Ghani for Eid-ul-Fitr and NATO air and ground forces will follow it, but it was unclear if Taliban will also honour it. The US has been pushing to avail this opportunity to move towards peace to end more than 17 years of war in Afghanistan.
"While peace is not around the corner, it is time for Washington to begin to think about what comes after peace arrives in Afghanistan," wrote Joseph Collins, a defence analyst, in an article for the online news portal The Hill.
While, many Americans would like to get out of Afghanistan after the war ends there, as Washington did in the early 1990s, "our near-abandonment of Afghanistan then had ill effects on peace and security in the region," the analyst said, in an apparent reference to the fallouts that most adversely impacted Pakistan, which suffered most from terrorism that emerged after that.
An Afghanistan at peace could be a strategic opportunity for the United States and its continued presence could help ensure a stable country and peace in the region, the article said, adding that a robust American presence could help the country get on its feet and balance the other great powers that may likely to intervene in case the US left.
Referring to strategic interests of China and Russia in the region, the author said that the continued American presence in Afghanistan would provide stability and establish the United States as a buffer to great power rivalry.
The Taliban would have to learn the benefits of US assistance to Afghanistan, the author said, adding that the US could make sure that after proper training, Kabul would integrate young Taliban fighters into the national army and police force.
While, this whole assessment of the situation remains a vision, the author argued that the basic point was that the US needed to have a plan for post-war Afghanistan, "which can evolve from a burdensome problem to a fruitful strategic opportunity." APP