Afghanistan – Helping Those Who Do Not Want To Help Themselves

Two days ago, once again the Afghan Parliament rejected the nominee for the post of the Defense Minister.  The latest events should be a wake up call for those in the US foreign policy apparatus who still think we have a partner in Afghanistan.  The fact, that the country which is facing an existential threat to its existence is unable to even come up with one person to lead their armed force is a disgrace.  The Afghani elites are clearly not that worried about possible Taliban takeover or are simply relying on the US forces to keep them in power forever.

The indefinite support for the Afghan government, proposed by some in the US is the worst possible strategy.  The Afghan elites are clearly not interested in governing.  As such the US should not continue pouring resources into supporting the dysfunctional government in Kabul.  After all the years in Afghanistan it is tough to walk away, but not doing so risks the never ending support for the political system which has no interest in governing, just collecting rents.  Right now, it seems that the US is more interested in preserving Afghanistan, then the Afghani elites are.  Until that changes the government of Afghanistan will not bring about successful conclusion to this war.

The Taliban are successful, because the government is corrupt and incompetent.  To fight the insurgents, without actual true reform of the Afghani state means a never ending commitment on our part.  At some point we have to make the Afghans responsible for their own security and governance.  If the Afghani people do not hold their leaders accountable for their failure to govern, the US should not bail them out by providing continued support.  The best course of action now is to withdraw all US forces and make the Afghan government take responsibility for this fight.  They will be forced to reform or will be replaced by someone who will take the necessary action to reform the state.  If no one rises to the occasion to become the true leader of the country, then we move on.  It will only prove that we never in fact had a partner, just someone who was using the US support to stay in power and enrich themselves.