07/02/2009

Focus on Afghanistans

The newly elected US president Barak Obama has retreated that the one lakh forty thousand American soldiers deployed in Iraq will return to the US within a year. In an interview given to the NBC channel Mr. Obama expressed his satisfaction over Iraq’s readiness to safeguard itself. The recently concluded elections in Iraq were the most peaceful since the commencement of the American campaign of overthrowing Saddam Hussein, hence, a large number of US soldiers will return from Iraq, he added. The American president also said that in the wake of the present situation in Afghanistan he would increase the number of US soldiers from thirty six thousand to sixty thousand in the next one and a half year.

Mr. Obama who inherited two wars from his predecessor, has insisted up on troop pullout from Iraq earlier also. He had strongly criticized Georg W bush’s Iraq policy during his election campaign. President Obama had even promised that the army would return to US within sixteen months of his coming into power and in his the first presidential address he wanted the army to exit Iraq in a responsible manner. He had a time table prepared for the above said purpose to which Mr. Bush strongly disagreed and didn’t even care of further decrease in his popularity. Firstly, his Republican party lost the midterm congress election and later the presidential election.

Troop pullout has been among the priorities of Obama for which he had had meetings with the army generals. Iraqis are eagerly awaiting for that moment. But the question of Iraq’s security raises serious doubts because only a month ago the Bush administration was apprehensive about Iraq’s inability to take control of it and now out of the blue Obama exudes confidence over Iraq’s ability. Obama’s intention, it might be conjectured, is to wash his hands off Iraq and wishes to abate public anger. This sounds plausible since other countries have decided to withdraw the troops from Iraq and if US continues to retain its army the presence would be interpreted as unjust occupation. It’s true that Iraqi forces have gained controlled of many states but American soldiers shield these forces. In such critical circumstances it would be folly to think Iraqi forces are in a convincible position to control Iraq. However, it cant be denied that Iraqis want foreign military to leave Iraqi soil but it is unthinkable that the US will leave Iraq after losing its 4236 lives and several men injured, without having achieved the purpose of occupation.

Tough the newly elected US president has declared to free Iraq at the same time he has stressed the urgent need to pay attention to Afghanistan which seems to be going out of US control after its occupation. It has also been foretold that the American and NATO armies shall loose the ground in Afghanistan. America has lost 644 of its soldiers there. Afghanistan is in deeper crises than what it was in 2001. So, Obama might consider two wars at the same time could prove too costly to manage and may well want to concentrate on Afghanistan alone. America has set up permanent military bases and now Afghanistan is on the cards from where it would be easier to bring other targeted nations under control. Georg W Bush successfully accomplished the task of taking control of Iraqi region but his incomplete mission in Afghanistan would be carried further by Obama, it seems. That could be the point behind Obama’s concern towards Afghanistan but at least in near future this looks grim and beyond possible.

sehroza DAWAT urdu, Editor: parvaz rahmani, English Translation of Feb07 2009 editorial by:khaleelulla khan, mysore

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