Effect of Withdrawal of US & NATO Forces from Afghanistan on INDIA- SSB Interview Topic | SSBMADEEASY

Implications of Withdrawal of US & NATO Forces from Afghanistan : Lecturette/GD topic in SSB InterviewGuys as we all know that Afghanistan is our neighbor country and US & NATO forces has been removed recently it has influenced India too. This has been asked many times in SSB in Group Discussion and Lecturette Topics so here i am presenting a brief history and present scenario in Afganistan
Insurgency in Afganistan as group discussion topic in SSB interviewInsurgent areas of Operations in Afganistan

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

  • Zahir Shah, who was the last king of Afghanistan, was overthrown by his cousin Mohammed Daoud Khan in 1973, as discontent with the monarchy was growing in the urban areas of Afghanistan.
  • The country had witnessed several droughts and charges of corruption and poor economic policies were leveled against the ruling dynasty.
  • Mohammed Daoud Khan transformed the monarchy into a republic with him becoming the first President of Afghanistan.
  • He was supported by a faction of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), Afghanistan’s communist party, which had been founded in 1965 and enjoyed strong relations with the Soviet Union.
  • On April 27, 1978, the PDPA and military units loyal to the PDPA, killed Daoud Khan, his immediate family and bodyguards in a violent coup, and seized control of the capital Kabul.
  • The new PDPA government, led by a revolutionary council, did not enjoy the support of the masses.
  • The first communist leader in Afghanistan, Nur Muhammad Taraki was assassinated by his fellow communist Hafizullah Amin.
  • The Soviet Union intervened in Afghanistan on December 24 1979. Amin was almost immediately deposed from power.
  • After deployment into Afghanistan, Soviet forces along with government forces began to engage in a protracted counter-insurgency was with Mujaheddin fighters.
  • The Mujaheddin fighters were trained, equipped and indoctrinated to fight jihad against Soviet forces by ISI of Pakistan, with the covert support of CIA of USA.
  • The Soviet government realized that military solutions to the conflict would require far more troops and hence, planned their withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1988.
  • The total withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Afghanistan was completed in February 1989. In total 14,453 Soviet soldiers died during the Afghan war.
  • The Soviet was had a damaging impact on Afghanistan. Estimates of the Afghan deaths vary from 670,000 to 2 million.
  • 5-10 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran, 1/3 of the pre-war population of the country, and another 2 million were displaced within the country.
  • After the Soviet withdrawal, the Republic of Afghanistan under Najibullah continued to face resistance from the various mujahideen forces.
  • Najibullah received funding and arms from the Soviet Union until 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed.
  • After the fall of Najibullah’s regime in 1992, the Afghan political parties agreed on a power-sharing agreement, under the Peshawar Accord.
  • The Peshwar Accord created the Islamic State of Afghanistan and appointed an interim government for a transitional period to be followed by general democratic elections.

RISE OF THE TALIBAN

  • The Taliban were largely founded by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in 1994.
  • The ISI used the Taliban to establish a regime in Afghanistan which would be favourable to Pakistan, for gaining strategic depth against India.
  • The Taliban had initially emerged as a new force in the Southern city of Kandahar conquering many southern and central provinces not under Islamic State control in the course of 1994.
  • In early 1995, as they launched a major operation against the capital Kabul, they suffered a devastating defeat against the Islamic State forces of Massoud.
  • By 1996, however, they had regrouped with massive military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia.
  • In September 1996, they took power in Kabul and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The Taliban imposed on the parts of Afghanistan under their control their interpretation of Islam, which was extremely harsh and inhumane.
  • From the Taliban conquest in 1996, up till November 2001, the United Front controlled roughly 30% of Afghanistan’s population in various provinces.
  • The United Islamic front (Northern Alliance) was created under the leadership of Ahmad Shah Massoud as a military-political resistance force against the Taliban Emirate.
  • From 1996 to 2001 the Al Qaeda of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri became a state within the Taliban state.

OFFENSIVE AGAINST TALIBAN

  • Following the ‘September 11’ attacks inside the United States in 2001, NATO intervened in Afghanistan under “Operation Enduring Freedom”.
  • The purpose of this was to defeat Al-Qaeda, capture or kill Osama bin Laden, remove the Taliban from power and create a viable democratic Afghan state.
  • The UN Security Council established the International Security Assistance force (ISAF) in December 2001 to provide basic security for the people of Afghanistan and assist the Karzai administration.
  • Since 2002, the total number of ISAF and US forces has climbed from 15,000 to 150,000.

WITHDRAWAL OF ISAF

  • Over a decade, the US and NATO forces backed the Karzai led administration in several cadres vis-à-vis education, health, reconstruction.
  • United States has announced to completely pull out its forces from Afghanistan till the end of 2014 and has started delegating control of parts of the war-torn country to Afghan authorities.
  • As a part of transferring power to the Afghan government, US forces has transferred control of the restive Nirk district of the Wardak province to Afghan forces.
  • On political front, US have also started parleys with Taliban that has passed few phases of suspension and resumption, but remains far away from success.
  • Taliban opened their office in Qatar for holding talks with representatives of Karzai-led government.
  • US has plans to keep about 10,000 troops in the war-battered Afghanistan after 2014.
  • NATO allies are expected to provide around 5,000 troops if the security-related agreement is agreed to among the stakeholders in Afghanistan, US and NATO.

IMPLICATIONS OF WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS

Resurgence of Taliban/Fundamentalists

  • It is assumed that after reduction/withdrawal of the coalition forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban may re-organize/restructure and attempt to challenge the Afghan National Security forces’ (ANSF) potential to keep the country intact.
  • The Taliban will strive to eliminate the country’s internal security and political apparatus, i.e. the police, government and the army by demoralizing and deserting the security forces.
  • There is also a possibility of the ANSF disintegrating along ethnic lines, in case the Taliban, a predominantly Pashtun-majority entity, successfully overruns Kabul after 2014.

India’s Interests

  • India has invested US $two billion in development aid making India one of the country’s biggest donors.
  • In 2011, the two countries signed a Strategic Partnership agreement, in which India agreed to assist in the training and equipping of Afghan security forces.
  • Afghanistan is important for India’s energy security.
  • India has vital economic interests in Afghanistan in terms of natural resources, i.e. iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium.
  • Afghanistan is also endowed with natural gas and oil, which remains unexplored due to war and conflict.
  • Besides the economic interests, India also would like to have a counter weight to Pakistan in the form of a friend in Afghanistan on the western border of Pakistan.

Pakistan’s Game Plan

  • After 2014, Pakistan will aim to increase its influence in Afghanistan. The stability of Afghanistan is closely intertwined with developments in neighbouring Pakistan.
  • Pakistan will naturally endeavour to curtail India’s influence in Afghanistan by creating a sense fear psychosis in the mind of Indian investors and work force engaged in developmental projects.
  • Islamabad has assisted the Taliban in the past and once again stands accused by the United States of supporting the Taliban groups fighting ISAF forces in Afghanistan.
  • Recently, the Pakistani Taliban formed a new splinter group called theJamaat-e-Ahrar, which is inspired by the success of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria.
  • The group is effectively controlled by Omar Khalid Khorasani, an ambitious Taliban commander with strong ties to al-Qaida.
  • It is believed to have carried out a bombing in Islamabad that sought to derail peace talks between the Taliban and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government.
  • Hence, Talibanisation of Pakistan is well on the cards. It will definitely have an adverse spillover effect into India. Afghanistan could become “a staging ground for an Indo-Pakistani proxy war”.

Post written by Col DJS Chahal 

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Deepak Tomar

I’m Deepak Tomar. I have completed my M.Tech in Computer Science and now i am working as a Govt. Employee in UP Police, I Love to help others and making friends, you can connect to me on facebook for any help- I will be happy to help you .

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