Iran and Pakistan representatives said the new US strategy is a war-plan, but Afghan defense ministry calls it realistic.
Officials Discuss US Strategy At Herat Dialogue
Addressing the second day of Herat Security Dialogue on Saturday, senior officials from Afghan Defense Ministry said the new US strategy for Afghanistan is a realistic policy and that the countries in the region should support it.
The deputy minister of defense, Tamim Asey, criticized the Afghans who oppose the new US strategy, saying that the policy is in favor of the country.
A number of our elite politicians are against the US strategy and this is mostly because of their own concerns. If we address their concerns, I think they will also support us,” said Asey.
“The US is in this war to win. First of all for its own security, but also to vindicate the sacrifices made by nearly 2,000 US soldiers until now. Second that a hasty withdrawal or a rapid exit would create a vacuum that terrorists will instantly fill as they did in Iraq in 2011,” former Indian ambassador to Kabul Gautam Mukhopadhaya said.
Representatives of Iran and Pakistan however reacted negatively to the strategy and said it is a war plan.
“This strategy consists of three points: One is to check Iran, the second is to find another alternative way for central Asian countries to go out of the control and influence of Russia and China,” Iran Strategic Studies Center’s deputy head Husain Malik said.
“There is no shadow for peace. It is a military policy, it is a policy dictated by the Pentagon,” Juma Khan Sofi, a lecturer at Pakistan’s Peshawar university said.
The US and China meanwhile said they support the Afghan-led peace process.
“China has always been a friendly neighbor to Afghanistan and respects the country’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity,” said Soji, head of China International Studies Institute.
“Obviously we are still struggling with the bureaucratic aspect of how do we want to engage Afghanistan beyond the military fight here. But ultimately this is the point that I want to convey to our Afghan audiences what the US strategy is, the military strategy, does not matter and it does not matter because as it has been reiterated many times there is not a military solution,” said Buradian Tod, a lecturer at US’s National Defense University.
Herat’s sixth round of security dialogue ended Saturday and it was aimed to build regional cooperation for the Afghan forces.