US New Strategy on war against terror in Afghanistan By: Faheem Nazimi

With the succession of Trump to power, there have been almost six months now that the world and Afghanistan are eagerly waiting to see the much talked about, much dispensable new strategy guidelines, and policy changes by the Whitehouse that can be of vital importance for Afghanistan in its common war against terrorism in this part of the world. There are lots of hopes and speculation that this time the government of the US will definitely deal with the conflict in a more resolute manner and perhaps in a radical way rather than sticking to its old half-hearted attempts and dichotomy especially when it comes to deal with Pakistan’s bizarre and weird and dishonest attitude and handling of the situation. It raises hope that this would enable the US and its ally Afghanistan that are currently losing out to the insurgency and terrorism to turn the tables on the enemy by either defeating them on the battlefield once and for all or reach some sort of political solution with their opponents. Whatever the outcome it will not meet all the expectation of the people and government of Afghanistan, but it will differ substantially from at least Obama’s dilemma driven strategy of obscurity. It is expected that the new strategy will be more based on harsh political and geographical realities s with a sound and pragmatic rational approach. One of the major differences in the strategy that is expected will be that it will not be based on a policy of entrenchment or war exhaustion as opposing Obama’s. It will require a sustained engagement and a real showdown to the conundrum that has beguiled everyone. That is good news for the weary and terrorized people of Afghanistan. It is pledging that Afghanistan will not be allowed to devolve back into chaos, as this will also directly affect US citizens being less safe at home and thus ISIS will rise in the wake of Pakistan state-sponsored terrorism in the region. The strategy will also be based on both internal and external dynamics as being inseparable. It is realized that focusing solely on counter-terrorism in isolation of local and regional dynamics is wrong. Afghanistan is battling an International terrorism backed by state-sponsored states. Provision and regional common strategy is a component of the US strategy in the fight against terrorism that needs to be sought sooner than later too. As far the changes that may be approved by Trumps that may be incorporated in the new strategy could be outlined something like for instance on the Afghanistan side unilateral counter-terrorism efforts with the US to provide support in terms of air-transport, artillery, Medical evacuation and Intelligence. The US will also intensify and strengthen their advisory efforts and probably expand it to smaller units. That is why 4000 more US troops were sanctioned by the Trumps administration. The Afghan troops can fight their own battles at the tactical level, but they need American’s operational support. About Pakistan, the US will from now on for real this time, give Pakistan conditional funding or will reduce its assistance drastically. The US will also exert more cross- border pressure against Pakistan to give up on sanctuaries for Taliban and other terrorist groups. The new Strategy will allow the US forces to consider enhanced covert options and more drone attacks on terrorist’s hideouts in areas formerly out of limit for the US such as Quetta and deep into Pakistan. The New US Strategy shall also seek to provide regional pressure on Pakistan to deal with terrorism indiscriminately or face the consequences.


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