The eleventh anniversary of the US invasion of Afghanistan came and went on Sunday with barely a notice by most Americans.
And today, as 'Year Twelve' begins for what has become the longest war in US history, a new report shows that as the war has raged on, little has been done to secure a lasting peace in the country and warns that the ruling Karzai government faces collapse and a possible civil war if election reform efforts are not put in place and warring factions not brought together.
According to the International Crisis Group's report—Afghanistan: The Long, Hard Road to the 2014 Transition—the country is "hurtling toward a devastating political crisis" and what lies ahead for the war-torn country—even if a scheduled withdrawal of US and NATO troops does take place by 2014—may be little better than their current circumstance.
“There is a real risk that the regime in Kabul could collapse upon NATO’s withdrawal in 2014”, says Candace Rondeaux, the International Crisis Group’s Senior Afghanistan Analyst. “The window for remedial action is closing fast”.
As the BBC reports, the Afghan government labelled the report's predictions "nonsense and garbage".
"Our nation was not born in 2002. We have a history of 5,000 years. We have fought against superpowers in the past. Our national police and army are ready to defend the country's soul and sovereignty," a statement said.
The new report details the challenge ahead as the country’s political leaders prepare for political and security transition in eighteen months. The government’s credibility has not recovered since the fraudulent and chaotic presidential and parliamentary polls in 2009 and 2010, and so far, leaders have been unable to reverse the downward spiral.
“President Karzai and parliament have long known what needs to be done to ensure a clean vote, but they have steadfastly refused to take any serious steps in that direction”, says Rondeaux. “Karzai seems more interested in perpetuating his own power by any means rather than ensuring credibility of the political system and long-term stability in the country”.
Read the full report and related materials here.
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