Not surprisingly, the Afghan people are yet again confused. Are the foreign forces withdrawing or not?
2011 is a very important year because the transfer will happen and the Afghan Army will execute the combats against Taliban. President Obama announced that the withdrawal would happen in 2011 but NATO and the others are not leaving but rather maintain a presence after 2014 and after 2014 the responsibility will gradually be transferred to the Afghan army and police forces.
Hamid Karzai has himself set a goal that Afghanistan should fully take the whole responsibility before 2015 and NATO has accepted the plan even if it means that all of the foreign forces will not leave the country. NATO emphasized that the NATO soldiers should remain in Afghanistan even after 2015.
Before the summit meeting in Lisbon, several countries did express their concern and worry that maybe the Afghans wouldn’t be ready to take over the security in the country after the withdrawal. To this, general secretary of NATO, Fogh Rasmussen said that the goal is realistic because that the NATO soldiers are training the Afghan soldiers and will continue until 2014.
So what has Taliban to say to this?
“We do not want to talk to anyone – not to Karzai, nor to any foreigners – till the foreign forces withdraw from Afghanistan.
“We are certain that we are winning. Why should we talk if we have the upper hand, and the foreign troops are considering withdrawal, and there are differences in the ranks of our enemies?”
What worries the western world is that more and more Afghans, even those who didn’t support the Taliban have the same view.