NATO engagement in Libya to affect Afghanistan: analysts
KABUL (PAN): Kabul-based political analysts believe NATO engagement in Libya could lead history to repeat itself and, like in 2003 when the international community focus turned to Iraq, Afghanistan will slip into oblivion.
For the last four days, coalition warplanes have been enforcing a UN mandated no-fly zone to protect civilians from forces loyal to Libya’s leader, Col. Mommar Qaddafi.
Allied warplanes have flown more than 300 sorties over Libya and more than 162 Tomahawk cruise missiles have been fired, according to NATO. An airstrike on a compound which includes Qaddafi's residence in Tripoli destroyed the "command and control capability”, it said.
Abdul Ghafoor Liwal, a political analyst in Kabul, said if NATO stayed a long time in Libya, it would have a negative impact on the situation in Afghanistan. "These impacts will be political as well as economic," he said, suspecting the alliance wanted to overthrow Qadaffi .
"The coalition forces want to dissolve Qaddafi’s government and replace it with a new one," Liwal said.
However, he did not think the situation in Libya would force the US to abandon Afghanistan.
Another political analyst, Abdul Wahid Taqat, said the US and its allies should not get involved in another battle if they wanted to improve the security in Afghanistan.
Mohammad Naseem Noori, another political analyst, said Afghanistan needed more of NATO's attention these days, especially as the transition of security responsibility was about to take place. “If NATO gets busy in Libya, it will have bad effect on the Afghan situation,” he said.
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