Sgt. Ry Norris/U.S. Army
- The accelerated #Afghanistan withdrawal is only jeopardize security gains and embolden the #Taliban
- Now that the #US is pulling out, other #NATO allies will follow our lead
- Next month's deadline hasn't forced President Karzai to improve #Afghan governance: the new timeline won't help either
President Barack Obama's new arbitrary timeline to withdraw all 33,000 surge troops - a third of the US forces in Afghanistan - by next summer is a recipe for failure.
It jeopardises "fragile" security gains of the past one year in Taliban strongholds in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, and undermines the overall counterinsurgency efforts to stabilise Afghanistan.
While the accelerated withdrawal will disappoint American and British commanders in Afghanistan, the news will embolden the Taliban and discourage the insurgents from laying down arms and seeking a peaceful settlement to the decade-long conflict.
Follow AEI's full coverage of the July 2011 withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
US officials had hoped the July 2011 deadline Obama outlined 18 months ago would put pressure on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to improve governance and curb corruption. But the effect was quite the contrary: Karzai became more confrontational with the West, made peace overtures to the Taliban, and began to seek alternative foreign allies such as Iran, China and Russia. The new exit timetable will further discourage Karzai from cooperating with the US and NATO allies.
Ahmad Majidyar is a senior research associate at AEI.