The Geostrategic Nightmare of Afghanistan

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 124
  • Published : November 17, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
The Geostrategic Nightmare of Afghanistan
A geostrategic outlook does not depend on one single topic or attribute of a country. It encompasses concepts from geography, politics, demography, and topography to characterize a region. When we look into the country of Afghanistan we look into the concepts of Afghanistan being land-locked, their vast mountainous region, their relatively large population of extremists as well as the country being over all less developed than many other nations in the world. Afghanistan's overall geostrategic outlook is often changing due to the struggle for power and the changing government. The above four concepts play a large role into how the country operates and it's overall well being. Afghanistan is an interesting candidate for this assessment due to the large influence the United States currently has there and the possibility of that changing in a short period of time due to military withdrawal.

The development of Afghanistan is a rocky road filled with war and terror. In 1979 the Soviet Union attempted to invade and conquer Afghanistan. This pushed the country into a long period of turmoil and strife. Afghan fighters ultimately were victorious in their struggle with the Soviet forces but their victory was short lived. After Soviet forces withdrew the country fell into a disastrous period of warlordism. The country was divided into several regions each controlled by a different military commander. The commanders constantly engaged each other attempting to gain more territory. During the war with the Soviets and the subsequent civil war that followed over 1 million afghans lost their lives and nearly 1/3 of their population took refuge in foreign countries (Byman, 2005). This set up the scene for the takeover of the Taliban. The Taliban gained support from the people for having a reputation of faith and honesty. As the movement grew it became more extreme leading the country further into devastation. The country fell into the hands of the Taliban in 1996 and up until 2001 was the “government” of Afghanistan. A good determination of the development of a country is its infant mortality rate and age expectancy. As of 2012 the CIA fact sheet ranked Afghanistan as the country with the highest infant mortality rate amongst the globe. The life expectancy being at 49 years old. When we evaluate the literacy rates we see that only 28% of the population over the age of 15 can read and write. The rate being significantly lower amongst women due to the repression of females during the Taliban reign. A result of the long term war in the country is the environmental nightmare of thousands of abandoned land mines. This is yet another sign of a lesser developed nation not having the technology to properly locate and destroy the landmines which result in nearly 50 casualties a month (Faramarz, 2011). Since the U.S invasion the country has began to make economical and democratic progress but there are still strides that need to be taken. Unfortunately as U.S. forces begin to withdraw the possibility of the country falling back into the hands of the Taliban is very high. The government is still weak with it only having it's second democratic election since the constitution's ratification and the military even weaker with heavy reliance on the U.S. and allied forces. This makes and military strategy null and void. Throughout the military we have seen several instances of Afghan soldiers turning their weapons on U.S. forces and their fellow soldiers. In regards to the military planning sector of their geostrategic outlook the country has no solid ground. The forces have grown in numbers and they are becoming better trained but their ability to defend against a full scale assault from outside forces would be mediocre at best.

Furthermore in analyzing Afghanistan's geostrategic outlook we must look at the large population of extremists that maintain a stronghold in Afghanistan. The Taliban has already...
tracking img