U.S.-Afghan alliance reminiscent of Cold War era

July 11, 2012 - 15:31

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The United States recently declared Afghanistan is a major non-NATO ally, giving the country status on par with what Pakistan used to enjoy when it was regarded as one of the most important allies of the U.S. in the fight against terrorism. 
However, Pakistan’s experience with the U.S. should warn Afghans that these sort of strategic alliances only serve the military and political interests of the U.S. in the region and not Afghanistan itself. 
The recent military deals signed will do little to benefit Afghanistan’s military or its sovereignty. They will however strengthen U.S. control of the military and the country as well as bolster Washington’s geostrategic position in the region. Only recently the U.S. pledged $16 billion for civilian needs in Afghanistan.
The U.S. government is exploiting the Afghan military by signing various security deals and pacts.
The Afghan government didn’t hesitate to sign the strategic pact, fortifying its alliance with the U.S. without providing justification to the Afghan people and regional countries.
Afghanistan’s entry to the club of U.S. major non-NATO allies would create problems for Afghanistan’s neighbors, including the Islamic Republic of Iran, which already carries the burden of the U.S. occupation. Iran still hosts hundreds of thousands of Afghan immigrants who have no hope to return to their insecure homeland. 
Iran is not afraid of a potential worsening of the situation in Afghanistan, but it fears that Afghanistan’s naivety about U.S. plots would ultimately result in a more complicated situation for its citizens. 
The new policies adopted by the U.S. regarding Afghanistan are reminiscent of the Soviet Unions’ approach toward Kabul during the Cold War. The U.S. is going down the same path and Afghans will suffer the same tragedies.
Mohammad Ebrahim Taherian is a political analyst and expert on Pakistan and Afghanistan who formerly served as Iran’s ambassador to Kabul.