With the complete withdrawal of the American troops from Afghanistan in 2016, as announced by President Obama in late May 2014, Kabul will face a sensitive and dangerous period of its transition. Focusing on the state of the security sector reform (SSR) process in early 2014 and during the previous 1-2 years, this policy brief argues that international forces, even if less influential, still act as a crucial buffer between armed parties competing for political power. For this reason, the author warns that the institution of a rigid and short-term withdrawal plan resulting in zero NATO troops by 2016 could imperil the transition.
Mark Sedra, is the President and co-founder of the Security Governance Group (SGG), and the Executive Director and co-founder of the Centre for Security Governance (CSG). He is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo and Balsillie School of International Affairs.