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Nato’s last opportunity

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Now even after Obama has announced to increase of 30,000 troops and a timetable that calls for the U.S. to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 2011, the scenario doesn't seem to be positive.
Why NATO is falling?

Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai has remained very weak, after the controversial elections result, and the economy continues to be heavily dependent upon opium production. This has crippled the Government’s ability to take action against the Talibanis. Infact, the military force cannot solve, by itself, the problem of the economic reconstruction of southern Afghanistan, where the Taliban is the strongest, unless it is accompanied by a political component. Besides these inherent limitations, following factors may be attributed to the growing failure of NATO missions in Afghanistan:

(1) Recognizing the importance of reconstruction and development to Afghanistan’s long-term stability, the available forces and resources seems to be inadequate.

(2) There can be no security in Afghanistan without development and proper employment, and there would be no development without security. The NATO forces have failed to imbibe a sense of security amongst the common Afghanis.

(3) The continued record poppy cultivation has encouraged the drug economy and, therefore, the Taliban’s funding has been strengthened.

(4) The NATO forces are more guided by their national policy of the respec- (10) “More than 9 years of international presence in the country aimed at increasing the living standards of the Afghan population have failed to make any measured improvements in the accessibility and quality of health and educational services in most of Afghanistan,

beyond the confines of Kabul.”

Possible Implications of the failure of NATO:

(1) Any regression in Afghanistan is calculated to have an immediate impact on India’s internal security, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. India will suffer more than any other country. India will become a new frontline.

(2) This will boost the morale of the terrorists and the situation will be equally bad for all the progressive forces in the world.

(3) The possible failure of NATO may have deep repercussions on the West Asain politics. The Hamas and Hezbollahs will be credited and they will be in a better position to exploit their fundamentalist views. This will further widen the gap between the Muslims and the rest. Infact, every one has to be blamed for the the growing terrorism.

Suggestions:

(1) India must review its policies in Afghanistan. India’s role in post- Taliban Afghainstan has been confined to assistance in rebuilding roads and public buildings.

(2) All the European and Asian powers must come forward to help NATO in this mission. Otherwise, the current spate of terrorism will kill the results of gobalization.

(3) The world must supply extra 2,500 soldiers, more helicopters and more flexibility to use existing allied troops.

(4) NATO’s failure in Afghanistan, coalition ineffectiveness in controlling situation in Iraq clearly indicates that the foreign forces cannot handle regional problems in modern days. The local people and their military are best suited to handle security problems. This has been also substantiated by the failure of USA in Vietnam and Soviet Russia in Afghanistan.

(5) Therefore, it would be necessary for the global fraternity to solve the problem of Afghanistan from a comprehensive approach.

Background of NATO:

NATO is an Alliance that consists of 28 independent member countries. NATO comprises 28 members: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The Treaty of Brussels, signed on 17 March 1948 by (1) Belgium, (2) the Netherlands, (3) Luxembourg, (4) France, and (5) the United Kingdom. The treaty established a military alliance, which is considered the precursor to the NATO agreement. The treaty later converted into Western

European Union. Enlargement is in fact an on-going and dynamic process, based upon Article 10 of the Washington

Treaty, which states that membership is open to any “European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area”. On 4 April 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty was signed in Washington, DC, which included the five Treaty of Brussels states, (6) United States, (7) Canada, (8) Portugal, (9) Italy, (10) Norway, (11) Denmark and (12) Iceland. They are called ‘founder members’.

First Round of Expansion:

On 18 February 1952, (13) Greece and (14) Turkey also joined. One can realize that Australia and New Zealand were left out because of geographical mismatch. In place of this, the ANZUS Agreement was made by the United States with these nations.

Second Round of Expansion:

In 1954 the Soviet Union showed interest to join NATO but the offer was rejected. But on 9 May 1955, (15) West Germany was incorporated into NATO. This development created deep animosity between NATO and USSR and the cold war was deepened.

Third Round of Expansion:

On 30 May 1982 (16) Spain joined NATO.

Fourth Round of Expansion:

12 November 1999 (17) Czech Republic, (18) Hungary and (19) Poland joined NATO. The Berlin Plus agreement is a

comprehensive package of agreements made between NATO and the European Union on December 16, 2002. With this agreement the EU was given the possibility to use NATO assets in case it wanted to act independently in an international crisis, on the condition that NATO itself did not want to act—the so-called "right of first refusal".

Fifth Round of Expansion:

(20) Estonia, (21) Latvia, (22) Lithuania, (23) Slovenia, (24) Slovakia, (25) Bulgaria, and (26) Romania. On April 1, 2009, membership was enlarged to 28 with the entrance of Albania and Croatia.

Future Round of Expansion:

At the 2008 summit in Bucharest, three countries were promised future invitations: the Republic of Macedonia, Georgia and Ukraine.

Obstacles before further expansion:

The accession of Macedonia has been blocked by Greece, the resolution of the Macedonia is pending. Turkey has also threatened to block an attempt from Cyprus.Other potential candidate countries include Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, which joined the Adriatic Charter of potential members in 2008.