Secretary of State Hillary Clinton assured international leaders and reporters, “The United States intends to stay the course with our friends in Afghanistan. . . . We will be there with you as you make the hard decisions that are necessary for your future.”
India Times reports,
The goal is to leave behind an Afghan government strong enough to escape the fate of its Soviet-era predecessor, which collapsed in 1992 in a civil war. The country’s allies are preparing increasingly for a scenario in which there is no peace settlement with the Taliban before most foreign combat troops leave in 2014.
In the face of the European debt crisis and unstable US markets, Afghanistan is apparently worried where the money will come from to prop up its government. And after a week in which Pakistan lost 24 people in a NATO attack increasing tensions with the U.S. and Afghanistan, and now Iran claiming it downed a U.S. drone (and the U.S. military allegedly fears Iran may be able to steal top-secret technology from it), Clinton and some European leaders moved to allay “doubts about Western resolve.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel seemed more realistic than Clinton’s open-ended promise. She said,
“The political process will have great importance in future, this is the place where the questions of reconciliation and power sharing must be solved in a way that includes all parts and ethnic groups of the society,” she said.
“We can help Afghanistan in this process, we can provide our experience, but we can’t solve the problem, it is only the Afghans who can do this.”