The realities of military presence of the Armenian Armed Forces in Afghanistan

13:29, Wednesday, 19 August, 2020
The realities of military presence of the Armenian Armed Forces in Afghanistan

On August 15 anew peacekeeping brigade of the Armenian Armed Forces left for Afghanistan. The servicemen will take part in training courses, preliminary exercises, after which they will join the NATO peacekeeping mission as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is led by the US contingent.
     The end of the war in Afghanistan that has been dragging on for decades is completely unpredictable.
     Back in 2014, the American coalition officially ended the war in Afghanistan, where NATO's Resolute Support non-combat mission has been operating since January 1, 2015. The US Army and official Kabul on the eve of 2018 promised that by 2020 the proportion of the population living under the control of the legitimate government will reach 80%.
     The reality looks different. Without loud statements, the Taliban is expanding its zones of control in the country from year to year, creating local analogs of administrations, regulating economic relations, exercising taxation and judicial functions. And most importantly, it controls more than half of the country's 37 million population (rough estimate) .
     For 19 years of operational activity of the Pentagon and allies, none of the declared strategic goals has been achieved. It is almost impossible to embed the Taliban ideology (medieval violence) into democratic standards (power-sharing agreement) . Moreover, the US-Taliban agreement is only a fragment of the overall picture. About 30 other terrorist groups are active in Afghanistan, including the growing ISIS. If the Taliban miraculously move to parliament, other armed groups will take their place "in the field, " here ISAF is powerless.
     NATO's continued presence in the region has resulted in further erosion of security. Terrorist attacks against administrative centers and military bases continue here.
     According to the UN Mission, as a result of hostilities in Afghanistan in 2019, more than 10 thousand people died, including more than 3, 400 civilians. The number of victims among women and children has increased. The UN mission believes that foreign troops are responsible for 8% of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.
     What is saddest for Armenia is that the US may try to shift responsibility for the "collateral losses" in Afghanistan onto its coalition allies. In view of all of the above, a natural question arises about the rationality of continuing the presence of the Armenian Armed Forces contingent on the territory of Afghanistan.
     The American peace scheme is full of obvious vulnerabilities. The presence of US and NATO contingents is an irritant for the armed opposition and an obstacle to stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan.
     A necessary condition for the fulfillment of the terms of the peace agreement between the United States and the extremist Taliban movement is the withdrawal of all foreign troops from the territory of Afghanistan. The potential normalization of the situation in Afghanistan, in turn, will enable its authorities "to more effectively fight the threats of terrorism and drug-related crime currently operating on the territory of the Islamic republic."
     In the meantime, the peacekeeping brigade of the Armed Forces of Armenia devotedly serves its cause, responsibly fulfills all assigned tasks. Of course, staying over the years of the NATO mission on the territory of Afghanistan brought a certain professional experience. However, it is high time for the Armenian leadership to think about the withdrawal of the contingent.
     It is also appropriate to recall the problems of the Afghan veterans who once became the backbone of the nascent Armenian army. About 4 thousand Armenians took part in that 1979-1989 war, 86 people did not return from the war, another 300 were wounded.

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