Whatever happens in the US election, American troops and their international allies are likely to continue to come home as planned by 2014.
The Afghans will be left to face a resurgent Taliban.
Abdul Waheed Wafa is executive director of the Afghan Center at Kabul University.
Wafa says he’s worried about what’s going to happen.
He says security will get worse, but he’s hopeful the country will avoid an all-out civil war.
“It’s a different country,” he says, “it’s not like 1991.”
1991 saw the beginning of a violent civil war in Afghanistan, following the Soviet withdrawal, and the end of international interference.
Wafa says he’s more worried about the economy collapsing after foreign troops withdraw.
“Thousands of jobs will be lost when those security bases (close),” he says, “then investors will face an uncertain mood.”
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Marco Werman: Whatever happens in the election, American troops and their international allies are likely to continue to come home as planned and the Afghans will be left to face a resurgent Taliban. Abdul Waheed Wafa is executive director of the Afghan Center at Kabul University. Wafa says he’s worried about what’s going to happen.
Abdul Waheed Wafa: Actually, all Afghans are worried about the whole narrative of transition, not only security-wise, (the suicide attacks, the dominance of Taliban in some areas – not all over Afghanistan) but, besides that, the economy transition is more important for Afghanistan especially when Afghanistan is completely dependent on aid. The economy of Afghans will collapse after the international security forces leave this country.
Werman: You’re convinced that the economy will collapse when the international security forces leave?
Wafa: The problem is that in the last 2 years the international force and especially the United States and Afghan government are more focused on how to do a security transition, but what we are concerning more that thousands of jobs will be lost when these security bases…when these foreign bases are leaving this country. Also, thousands of investors will be in a kind of uncertain mood and will stop investing in their country.
Werman: So, just to recap, you are concerned about the security situation but not totally convinced that once the international forces leave it would be a full-scale return to civil war.
Wafa: I’m convinced that we are completely different from the time of 1991. We have a different society. We have a lot of people now interested in sending their kids for an education. So, Afghanistan will not go to a full-scale of civil war.
Werman: You do assume, Mr. Wafa, that the forces that currently support the government in Kabul will hang together once the international forces leave but, after the Soviets left in 1989, many groups deserted the government and joined the insurgency. Couldn’t that happen again?
Wafa: Not on the scale back in ’91, those kinds of desertions, but, of course, we do have a vulnerable country based on its mixed balance. Currently, there are rivalries among security forces…and generals, but not the same way which happened in ’91 that all of the generals and all of the security forces joined to different groups.
Werman: Abdul Waheed Wafa, executive director of the Afghan Center at Kabul University, thank you very much.
Wafa: Thank you.
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