US-led forces breed Afghan insecurity: report

A report by the European Union (EU) blames the US-led military coalition for deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan. "The EU and its allies need to acknowledge continuous deterioration in security and the socio-economic situation in the country (Afghanistan) despite almost a decade of international involvement, and understand the need to get the Afghans fully involved in the exit strategy," the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament stated, UPI reported. In a report on the ten-year-old conflict in the Asian country, members of the European Parliament said the war in Afghanistan has failed. The parliament added that the time has come to start looking for an exit strategy, urging a radical revision of the EU strategy. "The EU strategy for Afghanistan needs a radical rethink," the statement said. It further said that the United States and its allies must recognize that military means are not working and that the coalition forces are viewed as occupiers. "The presence of the Taliban was underestimated, the ability of the (government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai) to provide governance was overestimated and, as a result, little attention was paid to the task of rebuilding and developing the country," the report said. European lawmakers have also said that it is vital to include Afghan leaders, as well as the Taliban, in a political solution to the conflict in the country. The cost of war in Afghanistan has been estimated at USD 300 billion for the past nine years, which amounts to over 20 times of Afghanistan's GDP. The report also criticizes the decision to place the US military supply chain in private hands as a move that "is fuelling extortion and corruption, as warlords, local mafia bosses and ultimately Taliban commanders end up taking a significant share of the USD 2.2-3 billion business of military logistics in Afghanistan."Meanwhile, the United States has said there will be no dramatic revisions to the Afghan war strategy in the near future. On November 9, a media report said that US President Barack Obama's administration moved away from a previous pledge to start withdrawing US troops from Afghanistan by July 2011. The war in Afghanistan has become the longest war in the US history. With civilian and military casualties at record highs, many question the motives in the ongoing conflict.

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