Opinion / Opinion Line

US forces staying in Afghanistan could be double-edged sword

(China Daily) Updated: 2015-10-22 07:55

US forces staying in Afghanistan could be double-edged sword

US President Barack Obama (C) announces plans to slow the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, while delivering a statement in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington October 15, 2015.[Photo/Agencies]

United States president Barack Obama has halted the withdrawal of US military forces from Afghanistan, announcing on Oct 15 that a 9,800-strong force will remain in the country after 2016 as the Afghan forces are not ready to stand alone. Comments:

In essence, Washington's several failed attempts to withdraw its armed forces from Afghanistan highlight the irreconcilable opposition between external intervention and the internal rebuilding of democracy. Given the unique history, culture, and social conditions of Afghanistan, it needs a powerful central government to curb the Taliban insurgency and govern the war-torn country. That explains why the United States maintains its military presence in Afghanistan to keep the country together.

Beijing News, Oct 21

The president's decision to keep the glass half full in Afghanistan could be a signal that he is no longer guided wholly by wishful thinking about the US' mission in Afghanistan. And while the American people are understandably weary of this protracted campaign, Afghan-based terror remains a proven threat that must be countered by this president - and the next.

The Post and Courier, Oct 20

The US troops' delayed withdrawal from Afghanistan, to a certain extent, can better secure the current Afghan government as well as what they have achieved in the fight against regional terrorism. More, it may be designed to counter Russia's strategic deployment in the region, especially after the Russian military expanded its presence into Syria to crack down on the country's Islamic State extremists. The US move even eyes the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation's role in Near East affairs., Oct 16

Stability in Afghanistan will not come through speeding up or slowing down the US troop withdrawal, but through establishing a strict deadline for peace and national reconciliation - an objective that can be achieved with one-tenth of the military cost. The US has spent trillions on the war hoping that it will defeat the opposition by force. It's time to invest a fraction of that in a peace endeavor. The continued US military presence is most certainly a divisive rather than a cohesive factor that exacerbates the problem.

Huffington Post, Oct 20

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