WASHINGTON, October 28 (RIA Novosti) — The Taliban might repeat Islamic State (IS) accomplishment after the NATO force pullout unless the Afghan government learns Iraq's lessons, Bradley Moss, national security lawyer has told RIA Novosti.
"If the Afghans make the same mistakes that were made by the Iraqi Government after the US withdrawal in 2011, it would be rather easy to see the Taliban replicating in Afghanistan the success of ISIL in Iraq," Moss warned in the wake of the ongoing western troops pullout from the country.
The drug trade has not been eradicated and the central Afghan Government still has a lot to prove about its ability to effectively govern beyond Kabul, particularly in the rural areas, he explained.
Moss stressed that the continued drawdown of remaining Coalition Forces in Afghanistan serves as a stark reminder that the writing is on the wall for the Afghan Government.
"After 13 years of supported operations, the day is drawing closer and closer when the Afghan Army will have to largely handle the counter-offensive against the Taliban – as well as the stabilization of the country at large – without Western assistance," he explained.
"One can only hope that the extensive resources provided, as well as sacrifices made by the Coalition Forces, will not have been in vain," Moss stated.
On Monday, the final UK armed forces and US marines have left the camp in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.
Moss underlined that the withdrawal of Coalition Forces poses obvious threats.
"For all its successes, the Afghan Army is still effectively the equivalent of a child riding a bike with training wheels," he asserted, adding that the coalition forces were far better trained, funded and prepared to handle combat operations against a foe like the Taliban.
"We do not yet know how well they will handle these operations when the training wheels come off and they no longer have a Plan B in the form of U.S. or U.K. forces," the lawyer stressed, noting however, that If they can rise to the challenge, it would provide a real and legitimate opportunity for a stable, centralized Afghan Government for the first time in recent memory.
Moss said that the Afghan Government has to isolate and contain the Taliban, ensure the necessary physical security that will enable substantial foreign investment, and create effective and responsive local governing institutions in areas outside of Kabul.
"The situation is fragile enough that they essentially have to "run the table" and largely accomplish all three tasks to survive," he claimed. "If they fail on even one of these prongs, it is unlikely that they will be able to hold on."
About 34,000 NATO troops remain in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban insurgency alongside Afghan soldiers and police. NATO's combat mission will end in December.
In September, Washington and Kabul signed an agreement formally justifying the presence of a limited US military contingent in Afghanistan, the after new Afghan president Ashraf Ghani was sworn into office. A follow-up force of some 10,000 troops is likely to stay throughout 2015 on training and support duties.