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The continuing insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan present considerable challenges for the United States and its allies for at least the next decade. A counterinsurgency strategy has been executed that places emphasis on safeguarding civilians, building trust, and providing services. However, both insurgencies show significant transnational elements that really complicate matters and necessitate building strong bonds with neighboring nation-states in order to contain militancy as well as prevent disputes arising between countries. It is unclear whether American public opinion will permit for significant troop presence in either nation-state-specifically in combat roles-for extended periods of time. As the United States reduces its footprint in Iraq and Afghanistan it is imperative that these states have the capacity to govern effectively on their own.
The Bush administration and later the Obama administration faced to stabilize on Iraq the country from the menace of insurgency. Iraq’s most pressing issue is to stabilize the Sunnis, Shiites, and Kurds. The David Petreaus plan has achieve some stabilization in Iraq. Specifically, The U.S. Armed Forces are leaving Iraq. Both the Obama administration and the Iraqi government agreed to that. In 2008, the American government and the Iraqi government signed a security agreement allowing American troops to stay until the end of 2011.
Iraq has made incredible socio-political and economic progress since the worst days of the insurgency. Security has improved greatly; democratization is consolidating by the day. Iraq’s micro economies have been started to revive and foreign economic investment is coming to Iraqi proper. However, these important gains are fragile and reversible. In addition, the American government must protect the rights of the Christian population in Iraq. Systematically, Christian Iraqis are being persecuted. That policy must be stopped. It is imperative that the remaining American armed forces must safeguard the right for worship for the Christians in Iraq.
In addition, the Kurdish militants from Turkey, namely the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), who is operating on Iraqi, soil with the assistance of local Kurds. The PKK was founded in the late 1970s and demands an independent Kurdish nation-state. This goal is shared by Iraqi Kurdish factions, the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (PDK), as well the Iranian Kurdish movement, although relations among these political groups have been often hostile. Thus the American government needs to be very careful how to build bridges. It is evident that the United States needs to establish a permanent presence in Iraq to protect stability.
In that country, the spread of militancy to Pakistan threatens to destabilize the entire South Asia region. Following the toppling of the Taliban government in Kabul, the Taliban and Al Qaeda have reorganized and regrouped in Pakistan. The new insurgency is significantly aided by Pashtun tribal elements spanning the border, historical tribal ties go back to the anti-Soviet resistance emanating from inside Pakistani proper. The limited or no Pakistani governmental presence in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and the issue of difficult terrain aid the presence of terrorists in that region. In addition, the infiltration of terrorist elements in Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) also creates problems. The American government must seriously pursue the counterinsurgency policy in Afghanistan and also the American government needs to plan for an American presence in Afghanistan similar what happen in Europe after the Second World War. Both Iraq and Afghanistan is very important for the American national interests.