In his recently held meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron in Washington, US President Barack Obama once again reminded the world that they have no plans onboard regarding a haphazard exit from Afghanistan. The statement comes at a time when anti-American sentiment among the Afghans has reached new highs. And things are at an all time low, especially in the wake of the killings of 16 Afghan civilians, most of them children and women, at the hands of a drunk US solider. As more and more details emerged of the soldier who was drunk and had later set the dead bodies on fire, so does the gravity of the situation.
President Obama is insistent that an exit now, in a rush, would only provide radical forces like Al-Qaeda the opportunity to strengthen their stronghold in Afghanistan. Something they have been battling against for more than a decade now.
On the flip side; Afghan government officials have also endorsed Obama’s statement stating that any premature solution to Afghan problem will only deteriorate the crisis. However, it is important to mention here that Afghan President Hamid Karzai once again preferred to remain indifferent of all these atrocities. Already known as an American puppet, the quiet on his side only adds more fuel to the fire. Even though the US has assured the world in general and Afghans in particular, that the soldier responsible for the 16 deaths would be dealt with, the Afghans aren’t letting it go that easy. If the US soldiers responsible for the massacre are not put on trial, Karzai’s reputation will suffer yet another blow.
Another important aspect that must be understood is the pattern of these brutalities. In January, photos of US military personnel urinating on the corpses of Afghan civilians made headlines around the world. This soon followed the desecration of the Holy Quran – a book revered by all Muslims – at the hands of the US soldiers, again set the global news on fire. In the span of just a few months, now again things are likely to create more havoc.
While emotions run high in the Afghans, President Obama must only hope for a safe exit, if not a hurried one. The US forces and government fails to realize that with such incidents becoming a monthly routine, they are unintentionally paving way for the people of Afghanistan to nurture sentiments of sympathy for the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. They are making it easy for people in helping them decide with whom to place their loyalties with. This is further coupled with the incompetent and corrupt Afghan government who has so far failed to provide any social and economic security to its people.
It is therefore a necessity of time that President Obama must start devising a strategy on diplomatic fronts to sympathize with the people of Afghanistan and formulate measures that can help US in coming up with a sustainable solution of the country.