From Transition to Transformation: Europe’s Afghanistan Decade?
The Afghanistan war represents NATO’s greatest international test since the Cold War. However, without discrediting the efforts made by the ISAF mission’s EU member states, the EU has, in certain respects, punched below its weight in Afghanistan. European initiatives such as the European Union police mission have proved inadequate. Many in the coalition are hastily preparing their draw-down and withdrawal plans, essentially leaving some non-NATO/non-European nations to carry a greater burden than they had initially anticipated. It is up to the EU to decide what role to play in Afghanistan’s future. That role should focus on Afghanistan’s transformation into a stable and self-sufficient state by helping it develop its economy, improve its police force, ensure long-term security cooperation, and constructively engage the region, with a particular focus on Pakistan.