Come 2014, and NATO troops will begin withdrawal from Afghanistan. NATO came here more than a decade ago when the oppressive Taliban regime was overthrown. War in Afghanistan has ravaged the country for more than 3 decades. Since more than a decade NATO and other allied troops have been overseeing safety and security in Afghanistan and providing support to the fledgling democracy. They have been training Afghan police and army to handle the security of the country after their departure.
Of late, the attacks against Allied soldiers by the Taliban are being seen as morale sapping efforts. The Taliban waits in the sidelines and it is going to be seen how well the Afghani forces handle their threat. NATO in a directive confirmed at all 130,000 combat soldiers will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by end 2014, and the transfer of combat roles to Afghan forces will be done in the middle of this year.
War in Afghanistan had done tremendous damage to the country’s infrastructure and economy. Aid organizations are working relentlessly to build infrastructure – roads, housing, schools, commercial spaces along with efforts to better the economy. Francesco Rulli of Film Annex in the video above feels that there is a massive opportunity that Afghanis have in NATO forces withdrawal. NATO’s role was in creation of peace and facilitation of private enterprise. Due to war in Afghanistan, there is an absence of large companies or firms to provide job opportunities. Most people are self-employed and have their small business enterprises. Typically these people have more skills in tackling adverse business policies and environments. So more entrepreneurs can be expected to pursue their visions.
It is also felt that Afghanistan needs to capitalize on its central location in Central and South Asia and can help facilitate communication or act as a supply pipeline for various countries. It can become a key player in Central and South Asia with passing time. Afghanistan shares good relations with most of their neighbours including countries like India and Pakistan who share torrid relations. This gives Afghanistan a strategic position which is also seen as non-threatening by both these countries. Afghanistan is actively being wooed by both India and Pakistan for development projects in Afghanistan. They can use this position to their advantage. They can also approach the neighbors for knowledge transfers especially IT technology, construction etc. It also shares a unique relationship with Iran that can be very useful considering the strained relations that Iran shares with most other countries.
Thus NATO forces withdrawal and complete control of Afghanistan can augur a prosperous future for Afghanistan.
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