Nato in Afghanistan
NATO’s (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) continued presence in Afghanistan will continue to foster the development of democratization, human rights and development, while effectively eliminating the Taliban from the region. The rise of the Taliban occured when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in 1979, during the Cold War. The Soviets came into Afghanistan looking to expand their Communist empire. As a result of this Communist expansion in Afghanistan, the USA decided to take counter action against the Soviets, their Cold War enemy, by funding an opposition party.
This opposition, called the Mujahedeen, was a religious group with the objective to fight off the change in their cultural country. When the Mujahedeen (now known as the Taliban) drove the Soviets out of Afghanistan, there was the opportunity for a group to take power in the country since the former government had been brought down. As the Taliban had the money and power, they took the opportunity to take control in the country. The Soviet Invasion had made such horrific living conditions to live in, that Afghanistan was known to be the top migrating country at the time.
Nato in Afghanistan Essay Example
There were 5-10 million Afghans that fled to Iran and Pakistan to seek refuge, with an outstanding 670,000 to 2 million killed. The largest city Kabul, went from a mid-large population of 200,000 people to less than 25,000 people- followed by a month-long campaign of carpet combing and bulldozing by the Soviets and Afghan communist soldiers in 1987. The horror did not just end after the Soviets fled. Today there are an estimated 10-15 million landmines left scattered across the country side, some of which are still active today.
It is estimated to take 4,300 years to remove all the land mines that were placed during the Soviet Invasion in Afghanistan, leaving the country as a current dangerous battle zone. When the Soviets left Afghanistan in 1989, Afghanistan was in a very bad position. All that was left was an almost empty government system, an armed terrorist group with high power, and a lack of resource development. During the Taliban rule (from 1989), young Afghan women were shot for attending school, assaulted for not wearing a burqa, and spat on by the ruling class.
Although the USA had funded the Taliban during the Soviet Invasion, the outbreak by the Taliban has resulted in NATO choosing to step forward to spread fair a democracy in a needing nation. The current mission that NATO has in Afghanistan is a guide and structure build for developing a strong secular government system- rather than what some Afghan Taliban may refer to it as, “a destruction of Afghan sovereignty. ” The Taliban, or as they call themselves, “The Warriors and Protectors of Islam,” want to keep Afghanistan as a traditional and pure country with no outside influences such as NATO.
Harsh punishments from the Taliban are more often set on Afghan citizens to create bigger scare and public awareness, showing they have no tolerance for broken set rules (their rules that they bring into extremity from the Quran). Having a westernized organization like NATO in Afghanistan upsets the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Although Al Qaeda and the Taliban are different groups, this is an occasion where Al Qaeda and the Taliban agreed to fight together.
The Taliban originally did not accept the Arabian group Al Qaeda to set up a base in Afghanistan, but these two different groups both had a common agreement on the abolishment of westernized influences. During this war against the USA, former leader of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, allied with the Taliban for a Jihad, which according to author Gohari, means, “A holy war against the Americans who are occupying the land of the two shrines,” and states that a US war on his country, Saudi Arabia, would soon cause an alliance of Muslims to be a US war on Muslims all over the globe.
Now, the war has parted into two sides: the USA as part of NATO, versus the Taliban and Al Qaeda. Now one may be wondering what exactly drives the Taliban to act as they do, and the reason is their perspective on religion (Islam). They control governance very similar to a right wing, fascist party. There is a huge reliance on using the religion of Islam to maintain control of society, frequently taken to the extremity, and often at the expense and contradiction of Islamic thought, theory and belief.
The Taliban were the elites of Afghanistan before NATO came in and controlled governance, punishing those who choose to disobey their rules and ideologies. The Afghans lived under the Taliban rule in Afghanistan long before the Soviets even fled. It is important to note that the Taliban is an embodiment of a male Afghan mindset, a force that has extreme traditional and religious views. Thus, all individuals with these extreme views are essentially having the same viewpoints of the Taliban. To author Fereshta, “The Taliban rule is the reason my grandmother cannot read. She explains that the reason behind her grandmother’s illiteracy was the extreme traditional mindset from men several years ago, that affected the treatment of women. During the ruling, as a force, the Taliban were able to strip women of even their basic rights, beyond just their education. Some examples of rules the Taliban have in place (the Taliban still control some sections of Afghanistan) include; punishments for: women walking in the street without a blood relative, women speaking loudly in public allowing strangers to hear their voice, and even the presence of a woman in the media. Men as well have been punished.
It was almost essential to be purely part of the Islamic faith or they would face consequences. The Taliban has harsh rules set on women in particular, reasoning some support this NATO mission to take out this strongly fascist-like force. This is why NATO’s mission in Afghanistan is to create a secular government- where religion does not in any way affect the laws and rules of its citizens, and in the process destroying Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Evidently, it is vital for NATO to stay in Afghanistan. Without NATO’s involvement, the Taliban would re-establish their power within the first 24 hours of NATO’s leave.
It is important to understand that it isn’t the strength of the twenty thousand Taliban in Afghanistan that is the problem, but it is the extremely weak ninety thousand Afghanistan military set to effectively fight terrorism off. In order to permanently stop the Taliban ruling in Afghanistan, the members of NATO need to put in effective effort into the mission, rather than planning to pull out an simply fund money. It is much more beneficial for the country of Afghanistan to have a strong NATO leader with them to assist and fully physically train its military, rather than NATO partially assisting and only providing temporary services.
The foreign policies for members of NATO should not be to withdraw troops and make plans to leave by 2014, but to be efficient by deploying experienced troops and commanders, allowing the Afghan military to be better trained. The Afghanistan military knows that NATO is there to train them, and if NATO decides to start taking away troops, then all efforts already placed to the Afghan military will go to waste as Afghan military cannot yet sustain itself. Members of NATO must be active in Afghanistan and remain dedicated in order to fully build the developed future of Afghanistan.
It is also suggested that NATO controls Afghan cities and roads connecting them, to reduce the number of coalition troops who are killed by road side bombs, making the mission more efficient. NATO also needs to work on the control of the opium exports from Afghanistan. About 60% of the world’s illegal opium imports come from Afghanistan, allowing the Taliban to tax local farmers on these exports, resulting in illegally attained money from the black market. With NATO’s mission in place, a structure of democracy is slowly being built.
They are interning the economic structure of Afghanistan by the creation of a free market, a boost in the economy, a structure of authority, and a major incline in social qualities (freedom of press and religion). The International Security Assistance force (ISAF) is also a force working in Afghanistan which along with NATO has passed several stages of the mission. In fact, NATO has taken the Taliban out of power, significantly helped the country with its increase in national security, education and healthcare, and has also assisted with the increase in media and free press, rising to seventy five TV stations and one million internet users.
By allowing the people of Afghanistan to have a democratic voice and opinion, they can prevent a small group such as the Taliban from ruling the streets again. NATO’s disrespectful behaviour has also been another issue in Afghanistan. Many of the Afghan people are not pleased with NATO’s conducts. It is argued by some that NATO’s conduct hogs land, blocks roads, allows them to mistreat prisoners, and causes the deaths of innocent civilians. However, dealing with civilians is not easy for NATO. Distinguishing who is an ally, and who is in an enemy is not easy when fighting an intelligent group like the Taliban, who employ guerrilla warfare.
This results in blame towards NATO for having detrimental behavior, and mistreating innocent civilians thought to be in disguise. However, NATO’s justification is that there have been 50+ cases of troops being killed by who appeared to be their own colleagues disguised in Afghan Army clothing, but were actually secret Taliban members. NATO states that there have been several casualties during this mission, a lot of which NATO blames civilians for not following conduct rules and disobeying them for their safety. However, Afghan people still do have a valid reason to disrespect NATO soldiers.
It would upset any Afghan knowing troops have been taking pictures of themselves posing beside dead Taliban fighters, and hearing reports that talk about soldiers urinating on dead corpses. If NATO wants to successfully complete its mission, then they need its members and soldiers to fully commit to the cause without disorderly conduct. It is important for NATO members to stay in Afghanistan right now in order to fully complete their mission, rather than pulling out in 2014. Afghanistan is now governed by a democratic government, which still needs more development in national security in order to sustain itself.
Having NATO stay a few years more will insure the Afghanistan military and government can maintain their position, resulting in a socially and economically developing country. It is not just western influences that NATO is trying to place in Afghanistan. NATO is there taking out the Mujahedeen to create a stable economy, a democratic government system and an end to the ‘Religious Fascism’ currently controlling Afghanistan. In our modern day society, for a country to be stable, they must develop those three factors; a stable economy, a secure democratic government system, and a society where citizens can make their own choices.
Having an organization like NATO in Afghanistan, will allow them to develop in areas they need in order to be a successful country. Works Cited FERESHTA. “The Globe and Mail. ” The Globe and Mail. N. p. , n. d. Web. 02 Nov. 2012. <http://www. theglobeandmail. com/commentary/who-are-the-taliban/article4188069/>. Gilles, Dorronsoro. “Who Are the Taliban? -Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. ” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. N. p. , 22 Oct. 2009. Web. 01 Nov. 2012. <http://www. carnegieendowment. org/2009/10/22/who-are-taliban/161>.
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