Discover the World News Forecast . . . FIRST in Foresight Journalism

Main NATO troop withdrawal leaves residual force and worry in its wake

December 31, 2014 - AFGHANISTAN

The International Security Assistance Force is due to end its mission and turn over its responsibilities to curb a resurgent insurgency to the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) and to Afghan's new president, Ashraf Ghani.

One big fear is that after the withdrawal the Taliban could make the country ungovernable. Another is that Afghanistan could again become a haven for terrorist organizations. There are also concerns that a potential security vacuum could prompt a proxy conflict in Afghanistan between regional rivals India and Pakistan. And next door Pakistan is a worry in its own right.

Previous President Hamid Karzai had refused to sign the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US, straining ties and raising security fears.

Most Nato forces are due to withdraw at the end of December, leaving 9,800 US troops behind and another small US-led force to deal with the remnants of al-Qaeda.

NATO and Afghanistan (NATO)

NATO Chief Sharply Rejects Karzai Statements (RFERL 11 Oct 2013)

Wthdrawal fuels fears in Pakistan (McClatchy/Miami Herald 6 Jun 2012)

Afghanistan and the Karzai connection (LA Times 6 Jun 2012)

Why China is likely to get more involved in Afghanistan (CSM 6 Jun 2012)

Withdrawal, Not Defeat (National Interest 4 Jun 2012)

Date written/update: 2013-11-20