Military Review

United States of Afghanistan?

Actually, the visit of British Prime Minister David Cameron to Afghanistan on December 6 would not have attracted much attention. It seems that such visits “without an announcement” of the first persons of the states whose military contingents are located in this country are becoming the norm, which is not surprising. Everyone is interested in what has actually been achieved in the nine years that have elapsed since the introduction of troops and what should be expected in the near future. By 2014, almost all Alliance member countries intend to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, which has been repeatedly confirmed at all levels. This is on the one hand. On the other hand, everything shows that the failure of the NATO strategy is already becoming obvious to everyone. None of the declared tasks for the invasion declared in 2001 was resolved: the Taliban are weakened, but not suppressed. The volume of drug traffic from Afghanistan is growing. The central government is practically incapacitated. About the destruction of al-Qaida and the capture of Osama bin Laden in a decent society now and do not remember. In a word, according to the apt definition of TEHRAN TIMES, NATO was bogged down in an “Afghan swamp”.

But you can't just leave Afghanistan. The British understood this in the 19th-20th centuries, the USSR and the Russian Federation understood it by their own bitter experience, the United States also understands this. Afghanistan was and remains the key to the Middle East and post-Soviet Central Asia. To miss such prizes in the Big Game is not in the rules of the USA. Naturally, variants of the new strategy of the USA and Great Britain are being feverishly practiced, both before 2014 and after 2014. And David Cameron accidentally let slip about one of the options being developed: “We do not set ourselves the task of creating a perfect Swiss-type democracy in the Hindu Kush. We want Afghanistan to achieve a basic level of stability and security, as well as economic growth, so that people participate in the prosperity of [the country]. As you can see, some evidence of positive change is already beginning to show. ” The key words here, as you already understood, are “Swiss-type democracy”. Why exactly Swiss, what a strange analogy? Of course, it happens that politicians make a reservation. More often it happens that they say something completely different from what they think. Moreover, they still do not always think what they are saying. But why Switzerland? This is how one of the legal portals of Switzerland defines the state system: “... it is a federal state. It consists of 23 cantons, 3 of which are divided into half-cantons ... each canton independently determines the issues of their organization. Most cantons are administratively divided into districts and communities. In small cantons and semi-cantons there are only communities. Each canton has its own constitution, parliament and government work. The boundaries of their sovereignty are defined in the federal Constitution: “The cantons are sovereign to the extent that their sovereignty is not limited to the federal constitution. They exercise all the rights that are not transferred to the federal government "(Art. 3). How is this type of device projected onto the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan? But to answer this question, we need to take a somewhat deeper look at what Afghanistan was like from the moment Ahmad-Shah Durrani was founded in 1747. By and large, Afghanistan was a federation of Pashtun tribes. The dominance of Pashtuns in all elements of state administration was absolute, the tribal council (Loya Jirga) acted as the supreme legislative body, the “Pashtun valay” regulated the kingdom’s life, the provinces were feudal allotments given to representatives of clans and tribes. Immediately make a reservation that I exaggerate the situation somewhat, without going into detailing and analyzing the features, trying to remain in the format of the article. The situation changes radically during the reign of Abdur-Rahman (who ruled from 1880 to 1901), when, following the results of the “Big Game,” Afghanistan finally became firmly established in the borders we know. In the course of the “Big Game” and the redrawing of a geographical map, the territories inhabited by Uzbeks, Tajiks, Hazaras and other nationalities were included in Afghanistan. Pashtuns on the territory of the new kingdom make up about 50%, while retaining their dominant political influence. Moreover, it was political, since the affiliated companies rather quickly trampled under them agriculture and trade. Practically from this point on, the main line of political development in Afghanistan is the struggle for power between the Pashtuns on the one hand and the other nationalities on the other.

United States of Afghanistan?

Afghanistan under Abdur-Rahman

Accumulated contradictions spilled out into the uprising of Bachai Sakao (a Tajik from a poor family who declared himself Padishah Habibullah) in 1929 and the overthrow of Amanullah Khan, who were also supported by the Soviet troops. However, Soviet aid to Amanullah Khan did not help, Nadir Khan came to power, who was put on by the British, who managed to put Soviet Russia in conditions that precluded an increase in the military contingent. A new round of anti-Pashtun speeches began soon after the overthrow of Zahir Shah and the proclamation of the republic by Mohammed Daoud. However, the description of all the vicissitudes of this struggle is not included in the purpose of this article. Skip right to 2001 year. What do we see? The peak of the Taliban confrontation (the backbone of which was the Pashtuns) and the Northern Alliance, led by Ahmad Shah Massoud, Ismail Khan, Rabbani (Tajiks), Rashid Dostum (Uzbek). Moreover, speaking of the Northern Alliance, we must remember that we are talking about the armed forces of the state of Northern Afghanistan proclaimed 9 of October 1996 of the year (retaining the former name of the country Islamic State of Afghanistan), ruled by the Supreme Council. And it is precisely in this confrontation that NATO intervenes. The main purpose of the intervention is the overthrow of the Taliban, which, according to the official version, support bin Laden. But in Afghanistan, the invasion is perceived as an aid in supporting against the hegemony of the Pashtuns. But the following happens: 5 December 2001 in Bonn under the auspices of the UN (read the USA) opens a conference on the post-war organization of the country. On the same day, the National Assembly of Elders of the Afghan Tribes of Loya Jirga is convened, at which representatives of the Northern Alliance, under pressure from the United States, sign an agreement on the formation of a transitional government of Afghanistan. The Pashtun from the Durrani tribe of the clan Crawl and the distant (in the European sense, but not in the Afghan) relative of the deposed Zahir Shah are approved as its head. Two years later, the Loya Jirga approves of the new Constitution of the country, introducing a presidential form of government, and in 2004 Karzai becomes the president of Afghanistan. Here it is necessary to clarify one important point. Inside the Pashtuns, Karzai does not enjoy complete confidence because of his pronounced pro-American orientation and Western mentality. Among the rest of the nationalities - he can not enjoy the support of that Pashtun. Actually, Karzai relies only on American support, but this in Afghanistan is not forgiven by definition. Putting President Karzai and not creating a counterweight to him in the form of a strong figure from the Northern Alliance as prime minister, the Americans drove themselves into a strategic dead end. In Afghanistan, they are well aware that Karzai can speak a thousand times about democracy and equal opportunities for all nationalities. But in practice, he will defend the interests of Pashtuns. Trying to find a way out of their own created impasse and answering the puzzled questions of the representatives of the Northern Alliance - “what did they fight for?”, The Americans organized elections for the National Assembly of Afghanistan in 2005.

The logic of the Americans in the creation of the National Assembly was quite understandable: to ensure proportional representation of national groups in the highest, in the American opinion, body of Afghanistan. But here was a trap. The idea that there is "power" and "representation in power" in Afghanistan is completely different than in NATO countries. Therefore, representation in the National Assembly means nothing to national groups, and is not perceived by them as participation in power. For them, the presence of their representatives in this Assembly is an empty phrase, and only the power of the president, prime minister, minister, governor of the province seems real to them. All this leads us to a very definite conclusion. With the withdrawal of the NATO contingent, and not even the withdrawal - weakening, a new round of national confrontation will begin. No matter how pessimistic it looks - but the nearest historical the prospect of cohabitation of Pashtuns and other ethnic groups within the borders of modern Afghanistan is impossible. There can only be one way out - either a confederation or a partition of Afghanistan along the South-North line. And the option of confederation is more preferable for the West, because it will allow the usual principle of “divide and conquer” to be implemented with all external respect, without the next contingent and armed confrontation. Probably a reflection of the debate about this option of the post-NATO structure of Afghanistan was the reservation of David Cameron.
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  1. TT
    TT 9 December 2010 20: 04
    Most likely, the Yugoslav version is really the most feasible way for NATO to stay in Afghanistan, because this technology has already been tested by the states themselves and their British teachers.