and why it
is so great
Afghan Research Society
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer
General Secretary of NATO March 28, 2008
Re: the NATO meeting in Bucharest, April 2, 2008
Dear Secretary Scheffer:
We are writing about the urgent matter on the proposed strategy formulation by NATO
toward Afghanistan during your April, 2008 meetings. We are deeply concerned that
those who advocate more long term fighting against the Afghan people’s wishes and
in support of conditions that cannot be maintained, based on a large body of evidence,
will create more costly difficulties for the Afghan people and for Afghanistan, without
achieving their goals. The statement by President Nicholas Sarkozy quoted by BBC
radio on March 26, 2008 that, “we have to win the war in Afghanistan at any costs” has
alarmed the Afghan people and the Afghan Diaspora.
Both the US and NATO forces were significantly increased since 2004 and aerial
attacks on southern and eastern provinces of Afghanistan shot up by 22% between
2006 and 2007 alone according to military sources climbing to 3,572 such attacks. Yet,
the US National Intelligence Director Michael McConnell now states that 70% of the
territory of Afghanistan in 2008 is outside the control of the government in Kabul. Five
years ago this was not the case. The countries with military presence in Afghanistan
have lost the heart and minds of the Afghan people due to bad policies they have
carried out, which definitely includes aggressive militarism where innocent Afghans
have paid with their lives, while others have been abused, and neglected.
Members of our organization, the Afghan Research Society, www.
afghanresearchsociety.org have written extensively on the political, social ad economic
implications of the foreign imposed policies on Afghanistan, and there are many
ongoing debates on Afghan run satellite TV stations and networks for any one’s
interest. The purpose of this writing is to single out a proposal we have made some
months ago and to provide the idea for policy deliberation.
We believe that the long term stability, peace, and removal of the kind of concerns that
some among the NATO members talk about can only come with the full cooperation of
the Afghan people. Present policies have made that nearly impossible. Further, the
Afghan people increasingly are unhappy about the presence of foreign troops in
Afghanistan and have demanded that the Danish and Dutch military be pulled out for
anti-Islamic behavior they have seen and read about in Denmark and in the
Netherlands. The Afghan people demand security and there is lack of security in many
parts of Afghanistan which have little to do with the armed resistance by the Taliban
and other former mujahideen factions and ordinary Afghans opposed to the prevailing
conditions and policies. When doctors and judges go on strike in Herat due to severe
break down of law and order, it tells much about what is growingly missing. Or when
the warlord Rashid Dostum, accused of crimes against humanity and an ally of the US
led coalition, attacks his rival Akbar Bouy and kills some of his supporters right in
Kabul and refuses to appear in court and is protected by his foreign benefactors
present in Kabul, the story of which was widely discussed on the Ariana- Afghanistan
and Payam-e-Afghan satellite TV stations, the impact on the Afghan people throughout
the country is not any small matter; it leads to break down of law and order and loss of
respect for the regime in Kabul and those protecting it. There are many such cases in
the north and in the west reported.
Our proposal directly is this: (1) That NATO and other countries sympathetic to solving
the prevailing problems in Afghanistan alter their policies and allocate the resources
they plan for war to a genuine effort to rebuild the country and its economy, where
unemployment is between 40-60%, inflation is double digit and extreme poverty and
extreme income and wealth inequalities are not only large but growing creating social
instability. Ignoring these areas for the past seven years have distanced the Afghan
people from the government they elected and from the countries carrying out military
operations at the costs of meeting these requirements. The US and NATO should set
a time table for withdrawing their troops from Afghanistan. Their presence in the
country during elections in 2009 will cast doubt on the legitimacy of the elections. The
UN should offer peaceful mediations pro-actively for negotiations rather be sidelined
as it has been.
(2) Security should be provided with the help of the neutral Muslim countries
substituting for NATO forces, other than from the neighboring countries, with the view
of helping secure an environment conducive to peace making. The new peace keeping
force to provide assistance for elections to be held in 2009, without interferences and
making sure that the same does not happen as in 2004-2005 elections where
significant portions of the population in the south were excluded and no checks for
qualification and background of the candidates were effectively carried out, which led to
the loss of public confidence in the elections. These are some of the deep concerns of
the Afghan people expressed in publications and in debates on the air waves on
Afghan run satellite TV networks for some time, which show lack of confidence with the
current US and NATO policies and their clear failures.
We believe these peaceful proposals will go a long way solving many of the
problems and concerns including the issue of terrorism and should substitute for the
argument some among the NATO members make for a long term strategy of war
making in Afghanistan to “pacify” the people, which the Afghan people will clearly
reject, and most likely will join the resistance in growing numbers with no winners at
the end. The Afghan people went through a similar experience only twenty years ago
with the former Soviet Union.
W hope you and others among the policy making body of NATO will consider these
proposals seriously for the sake of every one.
Board of Directors, Afghan Research Society
An independent think tank with international membership.
Members of the Afghan Research Society
M. Siddieq Noorzoy, Director
Ph.D., Professor of Economics, Emeritus. SNoorzoy@msn.com
Said Khalilollah Hashemyan, Ph.D. (Linguistics), former Professor Kabul University,
Editor, Afghanistan Mirror, bi-monthly publication in English, Pushto and Dari,
A. M. Zarmalwall, Author of several books on Afghanistan, Ottawa, Canada
Izatullah Mujadedi, Islamic Scholar, commentator, Irvine, Ca.
Bruce G. Richardson, author, Afghanistan: Ending the Reign of Soviet Terror
Maverick Publications, Oregon, 1996
Nabi Misdaq, Ph.D., author, Afghanistan: Political Frailty and Foreign Interference,
Farid Ahmad, M.S. Civil Engineer, San Jose.
Nasir Ahmad, BS. Civil Engineer, San Jose..
Abdul Ali Ghori, PhD. (mathematics) Instructor Bay Area Colleges.
Nafisa Ghori, Laboratory Technician Stanford University.
Torpekay Haidari, M.A., Education, former Associate Professor Kabul University.
Obaidullah Haidari, Diploma Engineer, author.
Toryalay Helmand, M.A. Range Land Management.
Solaiman Helmand, Businessman, Bay Area.
Mir Jalalyar, M.B.A., Ph.D., Business Instructor, Seattle Area Colleges.
Hedayat Jalalyar, Doctor of Pharmacology, head pharmacist, Tri City.
Mobin Karimi, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathologist, University of Toronto, Canada
Latif Ahmad, MD, Middle East.
Mohammad Staneckzai, B.S. Civil Engineer, Sacramento.
Anayat Mehrabi, Ph.D.( Economics) financial consultant, Instructor, Bay Area.
Izatullah Mujadedi, Islamic Scholar and commentator, Irvine, Ca.
Yar Mohammad Mojadidi, M.A. Public Administration, retired, Fremont.
Ningyalai Amiri, M.S. (Computer Sciences) Principal SQA Engineer, Bay Area firm.
Noorullah Hafiz, B.S., Civil Engineer, Hafiz Insurance Agency, Los Angeles.
Hamid Noorzoy, A.A., Sport Consultant, Monterey Bay.
Jamal Noorzoy, B.A., Realtor, inventor and patent holder. Carmel and Pebble Beach.
Khalil Noorzoy, B.A., businessman, Los Angeles.
Assad Noorzoy, B.S., health inspector, Los Angeles.
Abdul Wahid Wahab, Dip. Architect, Owner and CEO, Koba Co., Dortmund, Germany.
Abdul Wali Wahab, B.S. Design Eng., Koba Co. Dortmund, Germany
M. Shoaib Yousofzai M.D., Islamic Scholar and commentator, Marina, Ca.
Fakhronisa Yousofzai, M.D., Islamic Scholar and commentator, Marina, Ca
Ahmad Zia, businessman, Bay Area.
Dear Secretary ... >
Afghan Research Society is dedicated to
encouraging multidisciplinary research on
Afghanistan and Afghan issues.