The image of an Afghan soldier carrying an injured German on his back in Kabul epitomizes the West’s challenges in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Afghans are literally carrying the weight on their shoulders of the NATO’s war that is going nowhere in Afghanistan and is spilling fast into Pakistan.
The civilian death toll is mounting fast in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. The gruesome image of the dead child dangling in the arms of a rescuer after a devastating bomb blast in Peshawar exemplifies the rapid descent into chaos in Pakistan. At the same time, the economies of Afghanistan and Pakistan have literally collapsed as a result of the unabated violence resulting from insurgency. Job losses are rampant, food riots and shortages are frequent, and millions are internally displaced.
The war in Afghanistan has burdened all involved. The list of victims is growing fast in a war with no meaningful end in sight. NATO too has suffered its heaviest losses in October. Another Canadian soldier lost his life this week in Afghanistan.
Unless there is a clear road map with a final destination marked for Afghanistan and Pakistan, NATO should stop dreaming of riding on the backs of Afghans to a victorious end in this war.