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Afeganistão: uma oportunidade perdida

por Nuno Castelo-Branco, em 04.12.09

 

Sob o resignado olhar de M. Zahir Xá, Karzai é empossado da presidência

 

Quando após a queda do regime talibã, Mohammed Zahir Xá convocou a Loya Jirga, parecia iminente a tentativa de regresso ao almejado, mas para sempre perdido status quo de 1973. Avessos a tudo aquilo que respeite a costumes e tradições de outrem, os norte-americanos opuseram-se terminantemente à devolução da chefia do Estado afegão ao espoliado monarca. Preferiram atribuir uma novel presidência a Karzai, um homem de confiança e que é susceptível de defender os pontos de vista das empresas energéticas que procuram estabelecer-se firmemente na Ásia Central.

 

Contrariando aquilo que já era consensual entre os chefes tribais, os EUA negaram a possibilidade da restauração de uma monarquia que antes de tudo o mais, garantiu quatro ininterruptas décadas de paz no Afeganistão e a tranquilidade do sistema tribal.

 

A situação actual é catastrófica. Além do deteriorar das relações inter-tribais que encorajam a recruta de novos combatentes talibã, a fastidiosa guerra eleitoral que conduziu Obama à Casa Branca, enviou sinais contraditórios a todos aqueles que no terreno lutam pela hegemonia. Além de um Paquistão visivelmente assolado pela subversão e dissidência, os americanos pouco podem contar com os países vizinhos que a norte, ainda se encontram numa fase de consolidação da situação criada pelo desaparecimento da União Soviética. Sem a cooperação russa, chinesa ou indiana, os EUA dependem uma vez mais dos sempre secundarizados aliados que na Europa enfrentam uma opinião pública hostil, porque conhecedora da realidade no terreno. Obama pede auxílio para um regime que obedeceu desde a sua instauração, aos seus critérios de avaliação que antes de tudo, vão encontro dos interesses económicos dos EUA. Se no terreno parecem existir desinteligências com contingentes aliados - o exército britânico, por exemplo -, um obstáculo ainda maior é a opinião pública que na Europa não parece disposta a investir numa aventura de indefiníveis contornos.

 

Obama mobiliza mais 30.000 efectivos e simultaneamente, marca a data de retirada. Política errática, ao sabor dos noticiários e do politicamente conveniente, consistiu este anúncio de fuga prevista,  num erro fatal e capaz de afastar ainda mais, qualquer tipo de vontade de auxílio substancial por parte dos aliados da NATO. 

 

Resta apenas saber, o que verdadeiramente decidirá a administração invisível e permanente que ao longo de sucessivos mandatos presidênciais, acaba por conformar a política do departamento de Estado.

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 17:20

Artigo de Bernardo Pires de Lima, investigador no IPRI, publicado na The Majalla (e também "postado" nos blogs da Comissão Portuguesa do Atlântico / Associação da Juventude Portuguesa do Atlântico e da Youth Atlantic Treaty Association):

 

 

As the new US Administration strategy for Afghanistan is being implemented, doubts arise within NATO.  Are the European members of the organization willing to uphold bigger responsibilities in the reconstruction and counter-insurgency effort, as the US eagerly but also sceptically expects them to? In the meanwhile, the bigger picture is the question of whether European leaders are ready to recognize the political and strategic relevance of Central Asia, and act accordingly.

More than twenty years after the Russian defeat in Afghanistan we may see the Atlantic Alliance with the same epilogue there. One may ask why history is so ironic, so repeated perhaps. The answer is quite simple: a powerful state like the Soviet Union, or a powerful alliance as NATO, weren't and are not prepared to act in anarchy. NATO, in particular, is confronted with a dilemma within its members: few of them are prepared to die in Afghanistan, but most of them are not. This is one of the current problems in Afghanistan, mainly in the south, where the insurgency is more visible and the political situation uncontrolled. To achieve a stable territory, NATO must give some proofs of existence, relevance, coordination and strength in Afghanistan and consider, as Obama Administration has done, the AfPak approach. If it does not so, the end of the most powerful and successful military and political alliance in history will be exactly the same as Soviet Union had two decades ago, its collapse.

The global NATO already exists. What for?

NATO's recent strategic approach has nothing to do with the old one. Since the Balkan wars its global political dynamic has been followed by an ambitious military buildup in regions that are not euro-atlantic in classic terms. Today, roughly 70 000 military personnel are engaged in NATO missions around the world, in places like Afghanistan, the Gulf of Aden, Lebanon, Iraq, Mediterranean sea, Sudan, Somalia or Pakistan. NATO has deep partnerships with Central Asia, Caucasus, Eastern Asia, Australia, New Zealand, African Union and Latin America. This global approach, geographic and politically speaking, means that this strategy has worldwide security logic in the current international architecture. We should ask if this is the right way to achieve NATO's relevance after the Cold War, but we cannot deny that there is still a central place for NATO in international security environment.
Is commonly accepted that Afghanistan is the greatest NATO's challenge, and that this global approach it's at stake there. I agree with that. But not for an afghan reason, so to speak: it's at stake because there is no such thing as NATO without the euro-atlantic alliance. And this could be the end of Europe's strategic relevance on the international security community.

The European answer

Obama strategy in Afghanistan is likely to include other states, involving some kind of dialogue with Iran and efforts to bring India, the Gulf states and central Asian countries into the field. Moreover, while US are placing demands on Europe to do more, as we saw during the last NATO summit, European governments are coming under increasing domestic pressure to do less.

Although the ISAF mission has grown from 32,800 troops in November 2006 (one month before Robert Gates replaced Rumsfeld at the Pentagon) to 61,960 in March 2009 (with many of these new forces coming from European countries), 18 out of the 25 EU countries participating in ISAF, have increased their deployment since late 2006 - 43% of ISAF's troops. But, as we know, these numbers don't mean stability, but two things: first, the military efforts are not the only answer to the problem; second, the European military buildup need more accuracy on the ground, courage to fight in the critical zones, and political will from all decision makers.

There are a number of ways Europeans can make a difference in Afghanistan, aside from simply sending more troops. They seem to implicitly agree on what it's needed: the negotiation's opening with some of the Talibans, a development-based approach to counter-narcotics, more civilian reconstruction and more and better training for Afghan security forces enabling them to lead the counter-insurgency effort, as well as regional initiatives that include Pakistan, India, Iran and Russia. This should be the medium-term vision.

But short-term approach should be focused to ensure that elections take place on an atmosphere of relative security, particularly at the country's south and east regions. So far, voter registration has been better than expected in southern provinces like Uruzgan, Helmand, Kandahar and Nimroz. But fraud in one part of the country could exacerbate regional and ethnic tensions, with serious implications for a new presidential mandate. Therefore, elections have the potential to undermine much of the progress that has been made since 2001, although being insufficient to provide on their own a new beginning. Conclusion seems obvious: what is needed it's an European military and economic effort during 2009 to ensure that the new President's political legitimacy could guarantee confidence amongst people, economy recovering, peace provided by security and military forces, and the exit door that NATO wants.

Central Asia is crucial to Euro-Atlantic future


There are three stages we should consider about the security link between central Asia and the Euro-Atlantic future.

Firstly, Afghanistan. NATO's role in this century needs a successful AfPak strategy for the next decade. It's not only crucial to its credibility as a multilateral organization at the globalized security architecture, but also to its members, particularly the United States and the preeminent European powers. In other words, the great coalition of the Cold War needs another victory to keep his importance in the global arena.

Secondly, energy supplies. Energy security is one of the core issues which could implode relations among states in the future. European dependence on Russian energy supplies shows how this weapon could be used as a political instrument to balance, divide and change the states behaviour. At the same time, former Soviet republics in Caucasus and central Asia are playing a major role on the dialogue between US and Russia, US and China, and between Russia and China. If one realizes how powerful these three states are and will be in the future, and how their economies will need energy for developing, we are looking to the most relevant region on earth.

Thirdly, the role of Middle East powers. I'm talking about Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel. They all have interests in central asian countries and some of them are intimately linked to United States. Saudi Arabia and Israel need US security umbrella against Iran, and Tehran need partnerships in central Asia to expand its political influence and improve his economic perspectives: it's the regime question.

We need an exit strategy for AfPak. But we also need to assume that an unsuccessful exit strategy could open a free way in central Asia to other powers. This must be the Euro-Alantic mindset, even if the current economic crisis is a strong reason to do nothing.

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 00:36

A agenda actual do Comité Militar da NATO

por Samuel de Paiva Pires, em 13.05.09

 

(imagem tirada daqui)

 

Daniela Dias Rodrigues no blog da Comissão Portuguesa do Atlântico / Associação da Juventude Portuguesa do Atlântico:

 

Assim, no que concerne ao Afeganistão, o Comité foi actualizado do progresso conseguido pelo exército afegão, que detém o controlo de grande parte da capital Kabul e, que participa em cerca de 80% das operações. Estabeleceu-se ainda o aprofundamento da Afghanistan National Development Strategy, para melhor treinar e monitorar as forças de segurança afegãs, preparando-as para assegurar eficazmente a segurança durante o período eleitoral, agendado para o próximo mês de Agosto, acontecimento que requer uma atenção especial, reconhecendo-se a necessidade de um aumento de tropas e das suas capacidades.
Relativamente à questão do Kosovo, foram analisados os progressos em termos de segurança na região, tendo o Comité estabelecido uma videoconferência com o General Yves de Kermabon, actualmente no comando da European Union Rule of Law Mission in Kosovo, o que reforça o envolvimento e a conjugação de esforços de ambas as instituições, na pacificação do território e no suporte às autoridades locais. Definiu-se a importância de ampliar as competências da NATO Response Force, para que possa estar apta a responder a possíveis crises imprevisíveis, tanto ao nível da defesa colectiva, como a focos de conflito interno.
Na questão da pirataria ao largo da Somália, foi consensual o entendimento em prolongar a actividade da Aliança na região, numa missão a longo prazo, cuja duração será discutida posteriormente, através de uma análise e orientação política, no âmbito da reunião prevista para Junho, ao nível de ministros da defesa.
Paralelamente a isto, representantes militares da Ucrânia e da Geórgia, reuniram-se, separadamente, com o Comité militar, tendo o mesma considerado positivamente a vontade e determinação de ambos em participar e contribuir nas operações da NATO, encorajando à continuação do empenho e dos esforços destes dois países, na reforma dos respectivos sectores da defesa.

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 00:43

 

 

Do nosso colega australiano Radical Royalist, este interessante post sobre o conflito afegão:

 

The Age’s Europe correspondent in Brussels, Julian Borger, read an article on Afghanistan in the British newspaper The Guardian , which he passed on to Australia for publication intoday's edition of the Melbourne newspaper. 

The US and its European allies are preparing to plant a high-profile figure in the heart of the Kabul Government in a direct challenge to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The creation of a new chief executive or prime ministerial role is aimed at bypassing Mr Karzai. … Many US and European officials are disillusioned with the extent of the corruption and incompetence in the Karzai Government, but most now believe there are no credible alternatives, and predict the Afghan President will win re-election in August.

[A] diplomat said alternatives to Mr Karzai had been explored and discarded: ‘No one could be sure that someone else would not turn out to be 10 times worse.’"

It speaks volumes that these Western politicians, diplomats and journalists ignore what the majority of the Loya Jirga delegates wanted for their country: The return of the Monarchy. 

According to the German political magazine Der Spiegel, Prince Mustafa Zahir claimed 1,347 deputies out of 1,500 of the Loya Jirga that gathered in 2002 to discuss the countries future had voiced their support in parliament for his grandfather as head of state. “Who exactly pushed his grandfather aside, he won't say -- what he means is that the Americans wanted Karzai and no one else from the very beginning. ‘But as a normal citizen,' he says now, he has been'disappointed' by the Karzai regime.” Prince Mustafa Zahir is a King in waiting and a formidable alternative to Mr Karzai. 

Autoria e outros dados (tags, etc)

publicado às 12:57






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