The war in Afghanistan has “officially” ended for the United States and its allies. In reality, the 13-year conflict, which began with the 9/11 terrorist attacks, will continue on as a more limited military operation, but no less dangerous.
The Taliban’s resistance has not lessened nor it the securiy of the newly elected president Ashraf Ghani assured.
On the contrary, religious extremists’ attacks intensified in 2014, killing close to 3,200 civilians and more than 4,600 Afghan soldiers and police agents.
The decision to end the military operation that started in 2001 has more to do with lack of support in the U.S. to continuing the conflict and President Barack Obama’s promise of ending the war, than with the country’s internal conditions.
For this reason, as the curtains drop for one operation, they rise for another. A contingent of 13,500 soldiers, of which 11,000 are Americans, will stay to support and train the more than 350,000 Afghan troops between the police and the army.
The current frail security situation recently prompted president Obama to expand the role of the remaining U.S. troops, allowing them to participate in anti terrorist operations against the Taliban and Al-Qaida, as well as providing land and air support to the Afghan forces when needed.
Afghanistan has a long history of foreign armies that end up bogged down by the local resistance. The U.S. quickly overthrew the government that harbored Osama Bin Laden before and after 9/11. But the foolishness of the George W. Bush administration resulted in the White House putting aside the Afghanistan priorities to start a war with Iraq.
President Obama is trying to fulfill his promise to end the war, but the fact that thousands of Americans continue to be exposed to the Tabliban is a sure sign that the conflict’s end is not near and that the threat of Islamic extremists remains. Afghanistan continues to be difficult situation to resolve even for the world’s most powerful nations