Sadly the future of Afghanistan is looking to be as peaceful as it was in 2001. Already there are those that point to past wrongs that need to be answered. Now of course those wrongs need to be healed but the greater need is for the violence, war and general chaos to stop. To do this there needs to be a great effort from the regional leadership. Such a strategy has never been used to its fullest potential.
For the past ten years the use of weapons to bring peace in Afghanistan has failed. I wish it were not a failure but the reality is very evident that peace is far, far away. Anyone that says the Afghanistan war has been a success is blind, stupid, ignorant or just lying. The reason for the failure is due to poor leadership.
At the outset of the war, the Taliban made it known that they were willing to fight for decades, not just one, many. The International Security Forces (ISAF), were fractured in both the ideology of military strategy and the ideology for going to war. These fractures lead to serious issues of commitment within the coalition forces. All these combined set the stage for a failed war. Today we are seeing greater attacks from the Taliban within Kabul and throughout Afghanistan.
What can be done now? We need to come to the realization that Afghanistan is back to square one. The regional peace may actually be worse than it was in 2001. Also we have to grasp the fact that Pakistan is itself embroiled in many battles. Next we have to ask where are the other countries that border Afghanistan? They need to be at the table for peace as well. These are China, Iran, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
These countries all have a vested interest in peace. Some may feel they are less so but that is for each of them to decide. The reality is the region is in chaos. A path forward needs to be mapped out because at present there is no idea or plan for regional peace.
There is one common element and that is no one wants the return of the Taliban. Much like the Nazi party, few of us see little reason for their existence. Most of us see the Taliban as a cancerous organization yet we have no medicine for its cure. For peace talks to happen there has to be common ground. We know the Taliban has one condition to peace and that is the complete dismissal of the RUSA forces. The Afghanistan government has asked the RUSA to leave. They have stated that their date of exit 2014. That leaves the peace talks with the Taliban stagnant. Sadly a military effort will still be needed for an unknown time, perhaps for ever.
Basically we are left with the fact that the regional powers need to formulate a plan. They all need to engage in a common element of regional co-operation. The most important element is the need for action that is going to bring peace. The rhetoric and lies have to end.
Now we have to ask, Are the people in power now the right people? Who else is there that can be trusted to bring peace? Lastly, how do we fight a ghost which is the Taliban terrorizing an entire region?