US credibility will be questioned if it abandons Kabul: Expert

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Washington, Mar.15 (ANI): An expert on Middle East and Central Asia affairs has said that the credibility of the United States will suffer if it abandons the present government in Afghanistan during the counter-operations against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

In an analysis for the Washington Times, Claude Salhani, the editor of the Middle East Times, dwells on the implications of a quick U.S. pullout from Afghanistan?

He says that it is a four-part answer.

"Most obviously it would impact on Afghanistan and its people," he says, adding that Washington's abandonment of Kabul would allow the Taliban to return to power with a subsequent wave of massive arrests and executions.

It would force many thousands of Afghans to flee the country once again, not to mention what it would do for the halftime entertainment at soccer games.

Second, he says, is the effect a pullout would have on the immediate neighbors, such as Pakistan and Iran.

A nuclear-armed Pakistan, where numerous elements in the military and the intelligence services sympathize with the Taliban, would make many in the region very nervous.

Third, much as the Europeans and NATO dislike having to contribute to the Afghan war effort, they are far better off today fighting the enemy in Afghanistan than having to defend their own borders.

And finally, the United States: Understandably, given the economy and the cost involved in the war, the Obama administration wants to disengage as quickly as possible.

Salhani says that what is needed is a completely new approach to the way this war is being fought.

"Conventional armies do not fare well in unconventional warfare. A new approach to Afghanistan can make greater use of covert operations. This might not be pleasing to many, but it remains the most realistic and feasible approach to fighting and winning this war," he concludes. (ANI)

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