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Bleak future stares at Afghanistan.

Syed Tausief AusafIt's time for the authors of the 2001 Afghan invasion to eat crow as their pyrrhic victory is turning into humiliating defeat after a 13-year battle that sent home 1,788 Americans in boxes and created hundreds of thousands of orphans and widows in the world's poorest country.

The goal behind the attack was to stabilize the country and rescue it from the hard-line Taleban rule. George Bush, Tony Blair never got tired of patting their backs for liberating Afghans and giving them an unhindered access to education, jobs and health care, something unimaginable during the Taleban rule. But how far has Washington succeeded? There is a big question mark over US claims to have purged the region of Al-Qaeda and the Taleban. Terrorism has, in fact, gotten worse. Last week, insurgents attacked a checkpoint leaving 21 soldiers dead and seven missing. Two days later, a car bomber killed seven people in south. Several MPs, police officials and even Karzai's brother have fallen prey to the maniacal violence.

And aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres has warned that gaping holes in Afghanistan's health care system are being obscured by misleading narratives of success ahead of the international troop withdrawal in 2014.

Barack Obama's administration is mighty disappointed with the corrupt-to-the-core Afghan "leader." His tactics of snubbing his erstwhile masters to woo the Pashtun bloc and soften the Taleban have borne no fruition. Following Karzai's refusal to sign a security agreement with the US, NATO defense ministers have agreed to plan for all options for the alliance's future presence in Afghanistan, including the possibility of pulling out all its troops at the end of this year.

The US has to blame itself for the mess. A New York Times report revealed that the CIA has encouraged unparalleled corruption in the Karzai government. Since the start of the decade- long war, CIA agents have delivered cash to Afghan officials in "suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags." Public memory is not too short to forget what happened to former President Najibullah, the Communist leader who ruled Afghanistan during the latter stages of the Soviet occupation. When the Taleban finally took Kabul in 1996, he was tortured, castrated, dragged through the streets behind a truck and then hanged from a lamppost.

Ill-trained and inadequately equipped corrupt Afghan security forces are no match for the hardened militants who have vast areas under their control. Their meticulously planned suicide operations give men in uniform little chance to retaliate.

After the last US plane leaves Kabul, what will happen to Karzai and Afghanistan is anybody's guess.* [emailprotected] //

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Geographic Code:9AFGH
Date:Feb 28, 2014
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