The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been in Afghanistan since August 2003 to command the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which was created on December 20, 2001, by Security Council Resolution 1386 of the United Nations, in accordance with the Bonn Agreement. ISAF has become NATO's biggest priority, but it is a tough mission, as Afghanistan has always remained a very particular state. In fact, during the last two centuries, Afghanistan has always opposed with a strong determination to any military intervention on its territory. This reputation has been dramatically shown by the British experience in the nineteenth century, and even more by the Soviet one in the twentieth century.
Since 1978 and the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan is known only for war, violence, with a population which is permanently waiting for a minimum security. The country has a fragile and unequal economy with a very fragmented social and political structure. From the beginning, this mission was very important in international relations, because Afghanistan was suspected of helping terrorists groups, especially Al-Qaeda, held responsible for the 9/11 attack.
Talibans gained power in Afghanistan in 1996 and it became the ideal place for combatants who wanted to practice a fundamental Islam, train themselves and plan for potential actions. Then, the Talibans found an interlocutor in the name of Bin Laden, the main leader of "the Base", Al-Qaeda. So there was an undisputable link between Al-Qaeda and Afghanistan. Thus, after 9/11, the Taliban regime's future was sealed when Al-Qaeda's responsibility was established. Afghanistan refused to help the United States and deliver the culprits, so the country was invaded and occupied by the US and the Taliban regime was knocked down.
Then, the United States have been helped by the United Nations forces and NATO, in order to give military and political support to the new regime. But from 2003, the international community's attention has turned towards Iraq, the second front of the "Global War On Terrorism" (GWOT). Gradually, the Talibans, Al-Qaeda and other military factions opposed to Kabul's government and President Hamid Karzai strengthened their pressure. They are not based in Afghanistan anymore, but mainly in Pakistan, a nuclear power, which is also supposed to be the United States' main ally in this region, is a paradoxical and delicate situation.
[...] From the beginning, this mission was very important in international relations, because Afghanistan was suspected of helping terrorists groups, especially Al-Qaeda, which is responsible of the 9/11/2001 attacks. The major turn in this country was in 1996, when the Talibans reached the power. Then, Afghanistan became the ideal place for combatants who wanted to practice a fundamental Islam, train themselves and plan for potential actions. Then, the Talibans have found an interlocutor in the person of Ben Laden, the main leader of Al- Qaeda. [...]
[...] For the coherence of the project, the Pact identifies three critical areas or interdependent pillars of activities for the next five years after its adoption : security ; governance, Rule of law and Human Rights ; economic and social development. The Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB), co-chaired by the United Nations and the Afghan government with the participation of third parties, was established to ensure overall strategic coordination of the Afghanistan. The presence of ISAF has also helped to improve the quality of life for many Afghans. [...]
[...] So NATO's mission in Afghanistan is at a delicate stage. Conclusion : Afghanistan redefining NATO's role in international relations ? “This is one of the most challenging task NATO has ever taken on, but it is a critical contribution to international security” NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer. Indeed, for ISAF and NATO, the next few years will be decisive, because a more stable and secure Afghanistan would bring considerable benefits to the Alliance. The application of a determined and consistent policy in Afghanistan and carrying out the mission mandated by the United Nations would contribute not only to defeat terrorism and bring regional stability, but also lead a better life for millions of Afghans, who continue to depend on the support of the international community. [...]
[...] Although relatively new, having been the subject of some criticism in the early stages of international military deployment in Afghanistan, the PRT concept as a whole has evolved and is now seen as a highly beneficial vector, which is assisting the Afghan government to extend its influence to the provinces. Taking the form of joint teams of varying size bringing together soldiers and civilians, and led by different countries, PRTs are deployed in selected provincial capitals of Afghanistan. They are a viable alternative to a full international presence for peacekeeping, which is not possible for Afghanistan and is not part of ISAF's mandate. [...]
[...] They have taken part to the process of disarmament of Afghan militia forces, helped the deployment of police forces and the Afghan National Army. And generally, they contribute to improving the security environment, through contacts with the authorities and local populations. PRTs are also a new way of efficiently collecting military and civilian actors together, in order to perform the complex task that is external assistance to nation-building. Their composition is based on the logic where stabilization and reconstruction represent two sides of a single reality. [...]
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