"Support for Afghanistan will continue until the Taliban’s defeat"

 Wed 29 Nov 2017

Dr. Amanullah Norzai

KABUL (SW): These days, the Afghan security forces fight the Taliban to maintain security in every corner which is a reflection of their selflessness and sacrifice for the country.

Fortunately, self-devotion and kindness know neither race nor nationality. Another shining example in this regard is the United Kingdom that has made itself available for training the Afghan security forces, assistance and peace in Afghanistan; another story of kindness and self-devotion.

The British Defense Minister Mark Lancaster, at a ceremony that was held at the Embassy of Afghanistan in London in honor of the British troops who served in Afghanistan, spoke of the UK’s support for the new U.S. Strategy for Afghanistan. The British Defense Minister said at this meeting held in honor of the British soldiers that the compassion of the Afghan people in helping to bring security and peace is an image that will never be forgotten, and said that they have not witnessed such kind-heartedness anywhere else in the world.

According to him, the British government is busy in Afghanistan without tiredness, in preparing to provide security assistance, and eventually “the blood of Afghan and the British troops will bring the result”.

Defense Minister Lancaster added that although more than 40,000 Afghan soldiers and more than 450 British soldiers have died to improve the situation of the Afghan people and fight extremism, there are clear signs of recovery and improvement in the security situation.

Mr. Lancaster insisted that one of these signs is the new commitment of the United States and its allies to effectively support the Afghan security forces. He added that the Afghan government’s new efforts to improve governance in various areas especially in the fight against corruption at the top levels of the security forces is encouraging for the UK.

Said Jawad Tayeb, Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the UK, while talking about the increasing military cooperation between Afghanistan and the United Kingdom, highlighted the increase in the number of Afghan military officers who are training at the esteemed British military academies. He said Britain has paid many sacrifices in Afghanistan, but their efforts to support the government, bring political stability and strive for the security of the people of Afghanistan has not been praised enough.

Ambassador Jawad said: “We want to say to them (British), Afghanistan is grateful for the support of the international community, especially to the soldiers who have lost their lives fighting terrorism in Afghanistan”.

Gen. Nick Carter, a former deputy commander of NATO-led international coalition forces in Afghanistan, said based on the new strategy, the international forces in Afghanistan would continue its support for the Afghanistan until the situation changes in favor of the Afghan government unlike the previous policy of the time-bound military support.

Nick Carter, former deputy commander of NATO-led international coalition forces in Afghanistan, insisted that the support for Afghanistan will continue until the Taliban are defeated.

The British officers invited to the Embassy of Afghanistan shared their experiences from deployment in Afghanistan in the Bastion military base in Helmand province. This base once witnessed one of the bloodiest wars in Afghanistan, and many British soldiers sustained casualties here.

But, the announcement of the new strategy by the United States seems to have encouraged the military. After reduction in the number of foreign troops in Afghanistan from around 150,000 to around 10,000, the Afghan forces suffered heavy casualties. These forces lacked the foreign forces’ expertise and were not in a favorable position in terms of military morale.

On the contrary, the Taliban thought that with more pressure on the government they would immediately disrupt the lines of the armed forces in the south, east, and north leaving large areas out of the control of the government. Now, the situation is different, but one Afghan officer in a private conversation has emphasized that the Afghan military has become trained and courageous, but the main issue is with the leadership; “The opportunity that has been given back to Afghanistan should be utilized”.

Currently, six of the young Afghan military officers are training at the Royal Military School of Sandhurst in the UK. Three other officers are attending preparatory courses for entering this military school. Education of these 9 young officers at such a place with this credibility is very important for the Afghan military forces.

The training of Afghan military officers at this best institution is prime example of the UK’s support as many famous people such as Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister during the Second World War, and a number of other famous military figures in UK and the Middle East have graduated from this institution.