Afghanistan & Iraq; a tug of war America and Western Democracy lost


PorLander Michel 

Abogado – Internacionalista / Universidad Jesuita de Guadalajara; Magíster en Derecho Internacional / Universidad de Leiden, Países Bajos. 

Correo electrónico:

In the wake of the recent latest report, Afghanistan Security Situation, released on 13 February, EASO (European Asylum Support Office) recently highlighted the ever increasing effectivité of the the Taliban against the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).  This author believes that this trend will not reverse itself and, on the contrary, the scale will continue to slide in favour of the Taliban. A weak central government, rampant corruption within it, low wages and poor living conditions for the armed forces will spell a disaster for the current, and future, Afghan government administrations. The best they can hope for is to secure part of the country with the rest effectively being in the hands of the Taliban. The challenges facing the Afghanistan government cannot but remind one of Somalia and, perhaps more, Vietnam with the outcome known by all once the governments from those countries were unable to offer their troops and people a better future.

Afghanistan is, spiraling into becoming, for all practical purposes, a failed state and the sooner the West embraces and accepts this reality the sooner it can reduce its losses and stop the flow of funds to a country which is misled and redirect them to many more which need the funds. The mistake of the United States was to believe that by simply pouring in funds and troops that a country would change and that the enemy would be defeated. History, in particular the Soviet experience in Afghanistan or the experience of the British Empire, could have easily demonstrated that this is not the case and that countries have their own processes and dynamics. It is the belief of the author that within three years the Taliban will, once again, rule over most of Afghanistan this in spite of all of the sacrifices both economic and in man power that NATO and the UN have invested in the country which would be an additional blow to Western style democracy.

Iraq, as Afghanistan, is unlikely to be able to keep its territorial integrity and sovereignty without assistance from third countries; the blitzkrieg of ISIS showed how weak the central government of Iraq really is and its dependence on external players for its integrity. Unless there are significant change, including a more inclusive government which takes under consideration and acts upon the needs of the Sunni and Kurd minorities, i.e. greater autonomy for Kurdistan, it is unlikely that Iraq will continue to exist as it is today for it is incapable, at present and on its own, to hold its borders and promote growth and stability which are both assets it needs to attend in order to overcome the significant internal and external threats which it faces.

Overreliance on the West is also a challenge that needs to be amended by senior government officials as the West may not always be there to assist Iraq. The situation in Iraq, although precarious, still offers many possibilities of success to the extent Iraq duly negotiates with both Iran and the Kurds as well as improves the basic livelihood of the Iraqi population via a massive investment program in basic infrastructure as well as selecting key strategic industries to develop which would create job opportunities for a majority of the population without forgetting the significant importance of including in all political, economic and social aspects both the Sunni and Kurds failure to follow the steps to ensure peace and stability may well lead to Iraq becoming a failed state and would amount to another failure of Western style democracy.



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