What’s next for post-2014 Afghanistan

After it was announced that Slovak soldier was killed in Afghanistan Slovak FM Miroslav Lajcak said that Slovakia wanna stay in Afg and will stay also after 2014. But on the other hand NY Times reports  the U.S. considers faster pullout in Afghanistan perhaps even zero option after 2014. It is still a speculation, but what would be your prediction on post 2014 operation of NATO in Afg and what kind of debate between allies do you expect on this? Read few comments.

David Isby, Political and defense analyst, Author of books and articles on military and security

I believe that NATO will still have a role to play in Afghanistan, as decided at last year’s Chicago summit.  Without an outside participant, Pakistan will be able to use its Afghan clients to achieve its goals in Afghanistan.  NATO did not fight to make Afghanistan safe for proxy war once again.  I believe a number of NATO members would be willing to participate in training post-2014.  Recent statements by the Spanish government suggest that they could be one of them.  But this will be harder to sell if the Afghan elections in 2014 do not appear to be less corrupt than the previous one and if Karzai appears to insist on playing a controlling role once he has relinquished the presidency.

Harsh V. Pant, Reader in International Relations, Department of Defence Studies, King’s College London

My take on this is that the US is still confused about the kind of military footprint it wants to have in Afghanistan post-2014. Much would depend on how the so-called ‘reconciliation’ process goes with the Taliban and how the strategic forces agreement with the Afghan govt pans out. But there is little doubt that major NATO powers like the US, the UK and France are in mood to extend their combat role in Afghanistan. The discussions among the allies will be largely about the best way to exit from Afghanistan and what sort of a non-combat presence should there be in that country. The focus will be on strengthening the Afghan security forces which are very weak and to bolster the fragile Afghan political process.

Stephen SaidemanPaterson Chair in International Affairs and Associate Professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University

I am not sure how this will play out. Normally, I would expect that the US and Afghanistan would negotiate an agreement and that NATO would help out in some capacity. But Karzai is not so predictable, so my best guess now is that the US will not remain in Afghanistan nor will anyone else in NATO in any significant capacity. The US provides too much of the infrastructure of the effort for small NATO units to remain without the US.




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