All neighboring countries, except Iran closed their borders to the Afghan refugees, hoping that they will return and come to terms with the Taliban regime.
The U.S., British and NATO troops that fight the Taliban in Afghanistan are up against an enemy that has proven to have the resources to regenerate itself almost incessantly. Although the former uses technological means that change the relationship between combatants as it has never happened before, the different interests of the neighboring countries in the outcome of this war makes predictions still impossible.
Meanwhile, the death toll of civilians is increasing drastically is likely to increase over the next months. According to asurvey released by the United nations and quoted by Dexter Filkins, in the newspaper article Afghan Civilian Deaths Rose 40% in 2008, published in the electronic version of New York Times, on Feb. 18, 2009, 2118 civilians were killed in 2008, in the conflict between Taliban and the forced lead by the Americans (Filkins). The author of the article points out that the majority of civilian casualties were caused by suicide bombers or bombs planted by the Talibans. The rest of the civilians were killed during air attacks by American led forces. The joined forces of the present pro-American Afghan government and American, British and NATO Forces are still cooperating in lading the fight against the Taliban movement, but the outcome of the fight is still uncertain as long as countries like Pakistan and Russia are not committed to refuse any support to the insurgents.
The new administration of the U.S. appears to have shifted its interests from the Iraqui front to the war in Afghanistan. The 17,000 combat troops will join 36,000 that are already there. The U.S. army is also declaring that it is preparing to pass control over to the Afghan governmental military forces, at some point in the future, claiming more forces in order to achieve this goal, too (Thompson). The position and intentions of the U.S. On the Afghan front are riskier than ever. The Afghan population is shown by polling to have decreased its trust in the U.S. And NATO maneuvers to a half of what it used to be three years ago (idem). The war on terror slowly changes fronts, according to those who claim that the correct way to fight this global enemy should be concentrated on the Afghan territory.
In an interview with John J. Richardson, the British writer Rory Stewart advanced his opinion that the success of the international operations in bringing stability in Afghanistan does not rely on the increasing of army forces, but on measures such as international pressure on the Afghan government to stop dealing with drugs, for example. Another possibility aimed at a middle and long-term strategy suggested by the writer would be that of concentrating on unconventional sources of energy, instead of bailing out the auto industry, shifting thus the economic interests in the Middle East toward other international markets and offering an indirect shortage of finances to those fueled by the money from the oil industry. Some others, even predicted that a successful cease fire on the Afghan front will be possible only if the U.S. would join forces with Russia and act as equal partners on a common front. These last two are only scenarios and speculations for the moment. The reality shows that the U.S. And NATO forces are not likely to reduce their forces in Afghanistan in the near future, on the contrary.
Bummiler, Elisabeth. From a Carrier, Another View of America's Air War in Afghanistan. Feb. 23, 2009. The New York Times. Retrieved: Feb 24, 209. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/world/asia/24carrier.html
Filkins, Dexter. Afghan Civilian Deaths Rose 40% in 2008. Feb., 18. 2009. The New York Times. Retrieved: Feb. 24. 2009. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/19/world/asia/19afghan.html?fta=y
Richardson, John J. Seven Bold Statements on the Alternative Future of Afghanistan. Esquire. Nov, 25. 2008.Retrieved: Feb. 24, 2009. Available at http://www.esquire.com/the-side/richardson-report/future-of-war-in-afghanistan-112508?src=reddit
Roberts, Jeffery J. The Origins of Conflict in Afghanistan. Praeger. 2003
Thompson, Mark.. Obama's Yes-We-Can War: More Troops to Afghanistan. 2009. TIME. Published: Feb. 18, 2009. Retrieved: Feb 24, 2009. Available at http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1880253,00.html
Afghanistan. 2009. CIA World Factbook. Retrieved: Feb 24, 2009. Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html
Gossman, Patricia. Afghanistan in the Balance. Middle East Report, No. 221. (Winter, 2001). Pp. 8-15. Published by: Middle East Research and Information Project Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1559333