By the end of 2014, the United States ended its occupation of Afghanistan leaving only 10,000 troops to train the Afghan army. This is under the US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement. It was a great change in the country as they are preparing to be independent. They had been working towards this with a national election and rebuilding of many of its social institutions. It was a major transition in terms of political and military as the country saw a decline of US and NATO presence. However, they still face great challenges this year especially in terms of security.
The Taliban is still in the area and are campaigning to regain lost territory. In fact, more Afghan soldiers have been reported to have died fighting the Taliban. This is because the country used to be overly reliant on US and NATO assistance. Today they face the Taliban on their own compounding the problem of security in the country. The good news is that Taliban has low territorial control but many are still expecting regular attacks, which is expected to continue in the coming years.
The central unity government is based in Kabul led by President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah. They are criticized to be weak and full of corruption with less national control over the country’s borderlands. In this way, citizens look for protection from local warlords, which challenge the head government in being able to maintain peace and security for the entire region. These warlords pose a threat as they can unseat the political power established in Kabul, the central government.
It is also important to note that many are wary over the power sharing deal between Ghani and Abdullah. The country has diverse constituencies making it difficult to have the bureaucratic house under control. This may have long term consequences especially in demonstrating a unified government. Significantly, Ghani has been cooperative with the US such as applying the US-Afghanistan Bilateral Security Agreement. While the United States has a low military presence, it will assist the country economically and diplomatically. Furthermore, Ghani shows interest in improving the social and economic condition of the country through diplomatic ties. He is interested in courting foreign direct investment from India and China that would help alleviate their stagnant economy.
Significantly, Afghanistan has an underutilized economy. They are rich in natural resources but are unable to engage in global trade. This can be turned around with an influx of foreign direct investment that would help it develop its major industrial and agricultural sectors. The future prediction for the country’s economic condition is positive with many noting the current foreign investor presence. This would be a change in their economic status inevitably helping improve the middle class and reducing its poverty levels. The main goal is to have long term investments that would improve the livelihood of its citizens.
Moreover, the Afghan government is increasing education efforts by developing schools in the area.
So far, the country has seen a surge of enrollees including women. Women are also becoming more integrated into mainstream society such as in governments and businesses. As such, there is considerable improvement in the social status of women.
The other main focus now of the country is to drive small businesses and increase entrepreneurship. This would help the macro and micro economy of the country especially as they learn to decrease their reliance on foreign aid. In conclusion, socio-economic and political affairs in Afghanistan remain promising.
The new unified government has been able to show its leadership in addressing pressing issues. The main problem they have to contend with is the political threat posed by the Taliban. In this way, they must continue to work with world powers to help suppress the group from growing and reaping menace in society