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We noted the decision announced by NATO to withdraw the contingent from Afghanistan, which followed a similar statement from Washington.

Thus, the twenty-year presence of NATO troops in Afghanistan ends. The military campaign, which began under the slogan of the fight against al-Qaeda and the Taliban who sheltered it, grew into a state-building effort in a single Asian country. According to Western observers, and not only them, the mission of the alliance in Afghanistan can be safely described as a failure.

After two decades of confrontation, according to the most conservative estimates, the Taliban control more than half of the country’s territory and continue armed struggle with the country’s government. The potential of al-Qaeda has been reduced, but terrorist organization cells, according to the UN, are still present in 11 Afghan provinces. In addition, against the backdrop of the presence of NATO troops, Afghanistan has become a haven for a new global terrorist threat represented by the ISIS group, numbering up to 4,000 militants in the country and regularly carrying out terrorist attacks, including in Kabul.

An extremely depressing picture is observed in the fight against drugs. During the NATO presence in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the cultivation area of ​​opium poppy has grown more than 20 times (up to 163 thousand hectares in 2019). Afghanistan accounts for over 80% of the global opiate market. According to UN figures, 24 of the country’s 34 provinces are drug-producing.

Despite multibillion-dollar injections that have surpassed the funds allocated by the US under the Marshall Plan to rebuild post-war Europe, the IRA remains the poorest country in Asia, with one of the highest levels of corruption in the world and unemployment, covering at least a third of the economically active population.

“Gone in the sand” are billions of dollars allocated to train personnel for the Afghan national security forces. The recognition of the fact that the Afghan problems had no military solution came to the Americans only after a decade of an inglorious campaign. During this time, tens of thousands of civilians were killed or injured. Many were the victims of indiscriminate attacks by NATO forces, cynically called by the alliance “collateral damage”, tens of thousands more were forced to leave Afghanistan in search of a peaceful life. Until now, Afghans constitute one of the largest group of refugees seeking asylum in Europe.

The Americans and other NATO members, leaving, promised to continue supporting the Afghan security forces. Whether they will be able to do this is a big question, since over twenty years the alliance has not coped with the task of creating local combat-ready security structures that could independently protect the country and ensure law and order in it.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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