DUSHANBE, December 3, 2009, Asia-Plus  -- It is impossible to settle the Afghan problem by force and President Barack Obama’s 30,000-strong troop increase for the Afghan war will not establish peace and security in Afghanistan, Tajik expert Qosimshoh Begmuhammad said in an interview with Asia-Plus.

According to him, the U.S. and collation forces have failed to settle the Afghan problem over the past eight years; on contrary, drug trafficking has increased in Afghanistan.  “This conflict has shown that it is impossible to solve the Afghan problem by force; it is necessary to implement all those plans the coalition countries had initially suggested, however, these plans have not yet been realized,” Begmuhammad said.

International community should reconstruct, first of all, Afghanistan’s infrastructure, the expert said.  “Without reconstruction of infrastructure and use of potential of neighboring countries, the conflict in Afghanistan will be just flaring up,” noted he, “All neighboring countries, including Central Asia’s states, Iran, Pakistan and India are interested in establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan; if there is not stability in Afghanistan, the conflict can spread over to neighboring countries.  International community should use potential of neighboring countries in full.”

He added that it was necessary to take specific steps to help Afghanistan rehabilitate its economy, social life and culture.  “If western countries continue introducing western model of democracy in this country in the future as well, it will be impossible to reestablish peace in Afghanistan.” 

We will recall that in his televised speech on Tuesday, President Obama said the goal of raising U.S. troop levels to nearly 100,000 was to step up the battle against the Taliban, secure key centers and train Afghan forces so they can take over, allowing for a U.S. withdrawal.

"We always wanted to take over the responsibility for the destiny of our nation," Afghan Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak told reporters, adding that Obama''s speech confirmed that the U.S. wants to help them do that, Reuters reported on December 2.

Major U.S. troop movements are likely to begin in January and all 30,000 should be in place by the end of August, far faster than planners had earlier suggested but in line with top U.S. and NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal’s request for reinforcements before the summer fighting season, Reuters said, noting that other NATO members are expected to commit between 5,000 and 7,000 additional troops, although some of them are already deployed as part of the alliance''s 42,000-strong contingent.