This is a Burden Beyond Strength

Something seems to be wrong with the widely advertised struggle against terrorism
The penultimate week of August has been marked with new outbreaks of violence in the Middle East and Central Asia. The terrorist acts committed in Iraq, Israel and Afghanistan have once again demonstrated that it is not effective to try and settle all problems at the same time.  

Recently, the mass media have once again focused on the events in Afghanistan. They are certainly not that important as Iraq and the Palestine-Israel conflict, but still. In fact, everything concerning Afghanistan is looked upon through the prism of the events in Iraq, Palestine or Israel. And this is quite understandable as Afghanistan was the first country to be attacked within the framework of the struggle against international terrorism. It would be quite logical to compare the success of the USA and the NATO allies in peaceful restoration of this Central Asian country where the war has been waged for about 25 years already.

In fact there is no considerable success to boast of in Afghanistan. The rapid defeat of the Taliban regime had given hope that military conflicts on the territory of the country would be put to an end once and for all. However nothing of the kind has happened. Remains of Taliban fighters are still at war; from time to time they attack government troops and the ISAF soldiers in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, strengthening of the military contingent of different countries in Afghanistan produced no considerable effect. According to The Washington Post, 3,000 American soldiers were sent to Afghanistan at the beginning of the anti-Taliban campaign. There are 10,000 American soldiers on the Afghani territory now. What is more, there are about 5,000 soldiers more from almost 30 countries that are operating under the ISAF aegis. However, it would appear these forces are not enough to control the whole territory of Afghanistan. This was never the military objective. It was originally intended that a national army would be created in Afghanistan; but in fact the process of the army formation has been very slow. Having no support of the USA and ISAF (the peacemakers guarantee security of Kabul), the government of Hamid Karzai wouldn't have kept the authority which is rather ephemeral at present. 

On August 11, the ISAF command was handed over to NATO. The event drew the attention of the mass media: it is for the first time that the alliance has exceeded Europe's boundaries and has taken control over the peacekeepers in Afghanistan.

Much hope is now being pinned upon general elections that are to take place the next year. Unfortunately, nobody knows how the elections should be conducted. The government of Hamid Karzai has been strongly criticized by international law enforcement organizations for the fact that the military structures of Afghanistan are mostly formed of representatives of the former Northern Alliance (Tajiks and Uzbeks) who try to find any opportunity to use their authority in conflicts with Pastuns. It is very often that American soldiers become involved into these "conflicts"; representatives of the local authorities use American soldiers to pursue their own interests under the guise of struggle against terrorism. This causes rather lamentable results: this kind of "struggle" only increases the number of Talibs.

It is not ruled out that the situation in Iraq will further develop according to the same scenario as in Afghanistan. Creation of a local provisional government is not a panacea. Neither the USA nor other countries are ready for the role that they have shouldered. No doubt they won't admit this fact. May it be the explanation to the fact why now Afghanistan has become an information vacuum?

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Author`s name Margarita Kicherova