In a surprise visit veiled in secrecy, President Obama landed in Kabul this morning and met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai in order to seal an agreement that would set forth a new strategic plan between the United States and Afghanistan. The timing of the visit coincides with the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden at the hands of U.S. Navy SEALs in Pakistan last year– a symbolic turning point that Obama hopes will also mark the beginning of the end of the decade-long American military involvement within the war-torn Central Asian country.
The agreement, a product of months of negotiations on both sides, is supposed to offer reassurance that the United States won’t abandon Afghanistan after the final departure of American troops in 2014. However, there are other complex issues at stake aside from dealing with the Taliban insurgency and regional geopolitical struggles. How can Afghanistan, which has suffered under constant war and conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979, even find a path toward peace?
An Open Society Foundation forum last year tackled the issue in a program titled “Reconciliation, Human Rights & Exiting Afghanistan.”