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Afghanistan: Growing Challenges
Afghanistan: Growing Challenges
Report 256 / Asia

阿富汗过渡期之后的叛乱活动

执行摘要及建议

阿富汗战争于2013年进入了新阶段。如今,这场战争愈发演变为叛乱分子与阿富汗国家安全部队(ANSF)之间的争夺战。2014年4月5日,阿富汗举行了相对成功的首轮总统大选,政府内外的许多人士因此对阿富汗的稳定更有信心。然而,人们应当现实地评估2014-2015年过渡期期间卡尔扎伊总统的继任者将要面临的安全挑战,避免过度乐观。如果国际社会不向阿富汗持续提供大量的安全、政治及经济支持,那么喀布尔或许会难以克服这些挑战。

整体而言,阿富汗的暴力活动与叛军袭击事件趋向升级。随着国际部队在阿富汗的逐渐撤离,喀布尔在边远地区的影响力也在衰弱。叛乱分子未能攻占主要城镇,有些地区的局势在国际部队撤出后也变得更加和平与稳定。不过,叛乱分子的信心日益增加,表现为有能力调集更大规模军队来发动袭击,这降低了2014-2015年期间举行有意义的国家级和平谈判的可能性。

仔细审视法利亚布、库纳尔、帕克蒂亚及坎大哈四省的局势,便会发现一些有可能在短期加剧冲突的潜在因素。国际部队驻扎阿富汗期间,历史仇恨与尚未消除的不满情绪受到暂时的压制,但如今这些问题正趋于恶化。法利亚布省主要是民族矛盾,坎大哈省大多是部族不和,但所有过渡地区都存在各种遗留问题,有可能导致2014年后暴力活动加剧。同时,政府军不同部队间最近在帕克蒂亚省发生小规模交火之后,当地的谈判代表预测,亲政府人士内部的冲突可能会变得更加频繁。坎大哈省的局势也表明,在外国军队监督减少的情况下,阿富汗人遭到本国安全部队的苛待,导致仇恨滋生,助长了叛乱活动。最后,巴基斯坦尽管作出了减少为叛乱分子提供避风港及其他支持的承诺,却并未付诸行动,阿富汗——尤其是坎大哈省及库纳尔省——对此耿耿于怀,两国关系可能因此恶化。

这些趋势并不意味着阿富汗注定要重蹈20世纪90年代初苏联撤离后国家崩塌的覆辙,如果国际社会持续向阿富汗提供强有力的支持,这种情况发生的可能性就更小。事实上,阿富汗部队虽然在2013年遭受创建以来最大的伤亡,并因叛乱势力的增强而从某些地区撤离,但在全国大部分地区,他们保持了行动的节奏。阿富汗国家安全部队仍然不乏年轻人入伍,这就抵消了退伍或逃兵人数增加的影响。政府依然有能力通过高速公路向城市中心运送物资。未来几年,阿富汗国家安全部队是否具有凝聚力可能会成为决定性的因素,尽管帕克蒂亚省的政府军内部发生了交火,但2013年报道的阿富汗部队内斗事件规模甚微。只要捐助国仍然愿意为阿富汗支付军饷,庞大的阿富汗安全部队——如今人数可能已超过37万人——就是一道强有力的屏障,可以阻挡叛乱分子攫取大范围的战略收益。

然而,塔利班及其他叛乱组织不会因此而放弃寻求这样的战略利益。尽管叛乱分子在多哈短暂地表示过可以参与和平谈判,但在外国部队撤离的地方,叛乱分子的行为表明他们并没有任何放松战斗的迹象。他们封锁道路,攻占农村地区,企图击垮地区行政中心。叛乱分子受到国际部队打击的风险降低了,于是他们便调集人数更多的军队,与阿富汗安全部队人员进行日趋频繁的面对面的地面战,有时会持续数周之久。不断增加的袭击事件表明,外国部队撤离后叛乱分子仍有借口进行战斗动员,他们改变了宣传辞令:过去的口号是抵抗异教徒占领,现在他们转而强调对抗政府中的“傀儡”或是“伊斯兰教叛徒”。诸如 “敢死队阵线”(Mahaz-e-Fedayeen) 这样的从叛乱组织中分离出来的小团体影响力正在上升,这进一步表明,未来数年内叛乱活动仍将猖獗。

2013年,由叛乱分子造成的阿富汗安全部队伤亡人数几乎与叛军自己的伤亡人数相当,这在历史上尚属首次,有关边远地区战斗的某些记录表明,双方近乎势均力敌。有人担心,随着外国部队继续撤离阿富汗,天平可能向叛乱分子倾斜,尤其是在某些农村地区。卡尔扎伊总统拒绝与美国及北约签署在2014年12月以后继续保留少量国际部队的协议,而进入决胜选举的两位总统候选人则都承诺要与美国签署《双边安全协议》(BSA),这一协议进一步会为北约《驻军地位协议》(SOFA)的签署创造条件。虽然仅仅依靠一批外国驻军还无法抵制叛乱分子,但外国驻军的完全撤离将会导致极为严重的问题。阿富汗国家安全部队仍然需要国际部队的支持,《双边安全协议》与《驻军地位协议》的签署可能会带来间接效应,在这样一个局势脆弱的时期释放出重要的信号,表明国际部队的承诺,从而帮助阿富汗得到持续的资金、发展及外交支持。

无论是否有国际部队作为后援,阿富汗政府都需要更多的直升飞机、装甲车及后勤支持,才能实现其有限的目标。这些额外的军事物资也能让政府更多地依靠相对训练有素的阿富汗军队,而非有伤害平民的斑斑劣迹的非正规部队。

当然,阿富汗政府的未来主要取决于其自身的行为:政府的法治承诺、反腐败措施以及其他能体现出政府对所有阿富汗人福祉的关心的因素。然而,国际社会也有责任:过去12年,国际社会帮助阿富汗恢复和平与稳定的努力并不总是尽如人意;现在,国际社会不能对阿富汗的局势漠不关心,而是应该重续承诺。

Commentary / Asia

Afghanistan: Growing Challenges

Political fractures continue to weaken the Afghan National Unity Government as the Taliban insurgency expands and an Islamic State affiliate strengthens its foothold. In this excerpt from the Watch List 2017 – First Update early-warning report for European policy makers, Crisis Group urges the European Union and its member states to continue to provide technical support to the negotiating process and take measures to alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

This commentary is part of our Watch List 2017 – First Update.

Rising insurgency and a fraught political transition are exacerbating an already pervasive sense of insecurity about Afghanistan’s future. Since the 2014 international military drawdown, the resurgent Taliban has fast expanded its presence countrywide. The Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), an affiliate of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also has a foothold, albeit limited and mainly in some eastern districts. Two-and-a-half years after it was created to prevent the bitterly contested 2014 presidential election from plunging the country into turmoil, the National Unity Government (NUG) is beset with internal disagreements and dysfunction that undermine the capacity of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) to counter the insurgency. The government’s ability to confront significant governance, economic and humanitarian challenges also is weak. Civilian and military casualties as well as the numbers of conflict-displaced and those in need of urgent humanitarian assistance continue to grow.

Rising Insurgency

After the transition to Afghan security forces in 2014, the thinly stretched ANDSF has been battling a growing insurgency on several fronts. According to the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) only 57.2 per cent of 375 districts were under government control or influence by 1 February 2017, an almost 15 per cent decline since end-2015. According to the Special Inspector General, 6,785 Afghan forces were killed and another 11,777 wounded from January to November 2016, significant losses at a time when security forces are struggling with personnel retention. The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) also reported a 3 per cent increase in civilian casualties (3,498 killed 7,920 wounded) in 2016 over the previous year. The number of high profile attacks in Kabul also was higher during the first three months of 2017 as compared to equivalent periods in previous years. On 21 April, Taliban gunmen and suicide bombers attacked an Afghan army base in the northern Balkh province, killing over 100 military and other personnel and injuring scores more. The army chief and defence minister both resigned the following day. Two attacks in March targeted police stations and a military hospital, killing 73 and wounding over 240 people.

Preventing the loss of more territory to insurgents, particularly during the anticipated spring offensive, is an urgent priority, notably in order to limit the scope of ungoverned spaces that could be exploited by regional extremists and transnational terror groups. With 8,400 troops already based in Afghanistan, the U.S. military leadership has requested a few thousand additional troops, a step that – if approved – would boost ANDSF morale and potentially could help blunt the insurgents’ offensive. But countering the growing insurgency also will depend on continued robust international financial and technical support, including honouring commitments made at NATO’s July 2016 Warsaw summit to advise, assist and train Afghan forces and provide them with annual funding of up to $4.5 billion until 2020.

Tackling the security situation also will require addressing widening internal disagreements and political partisanship that permeate all levels of the security apparatus and have undermined ANDSF command and control structures. Intra-governmental divisions likewise have impeded implementation of reforms necessary to mitigate the effects of corruption, nepotism and factionalism in the Afghan National Army (ANA) and particularly the Afghan National Police (ANP). Such weaknesses and overall government dysfunction played a major part in the 2016 Taliban advances in Kunduz city in the north, the siege of Lashkargah and Tirin Kot cities in the south, and, in March 2017, the Taliban capture of Helmand’s Sangin district.

Regional Neighbours

Amid ambiguity about the Western will to remain engaged, Afghanistan’s neighbours are more aggressively promoting what they perceive to be their own national security interests. This most notably is the case of Pakistan, whose relations with Afghanistan continue to be strained. Islamabad remains unwilling to facilitate talks between the Taliban and Kabul, and continues supporting its Afghan proxies, allowing them to recruit, fundraise, as well as plan and conduct operations from safe havens inside Pakistan. Pakistan in turn accuses Kabul of at best turning a blind eye, if not actively supporting, Pakistani tribal militants conducting cross-border attacks from Afghan territory.

No internationally-led negotiations will work unless there is a consensus among Afghans, both those backing and opposing the government, to pursue a negotiated peace rather than continued conflict.

Deteriorating bilateral relations have had other consequences. In 2016, Islamabad forcibly repatriated more than 550,000 Afghans (including 380,000 registered refugees) as relations with Kabul deteriorated because of heightened Taliban attacks in Afghanistan and cross-border attacks by Afghanistan-based Pakistani tribal militants. In February 2017, after a major terror attack on a Sufi shrine in southern Pakistan which was claimed by a Pakistani Taliban faction reportedly based in eastern Afghanistan, Pakistan closed its two main border crossings with Afghanistan – Torkham and Chaman – for over a month. It also conducted mortar and other military strikes on the bordering provinces of Kunar and Nangarhar. Though it has since reopened the crossings, Pakistan has begun to fence the border, a move certain to aggravate tensions insofar as Kabul does not recognise the Durand Line as the international boundary.

There are further complicating regional factors. Closer ties between Kabul and New Delhi, which has offered a $1 billion aid package and MI-25 combat helicopters to Afghanistan, are viewed as provocative by Islamabad. Iran long has been suspected of providing military hardware to some Taliban factions, a stance motivated partly by animosity toward the U.S. and more recently by the desire to counter IS-K. Russia also recently has upped its involvement, reaching out to the Taliban and, according to senior U.S military officials providing them with some military support, and proposing to lead a new negotiation process which could further complicate Afghanistan’s security dynamics.

Peace Negotiations

No internationally-led negotiations will work unless there is a consensus among Afghans, both those backing and opposing the government, to pursue a negotiated peace rather than continued conflict. External actors can lend a hand, through facilitation and other support, but the impetus has to come from within. In this context, the European Union (EU) and its member states should continue their technical and financial support to an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process in its upcoming 2017-2020 EU Strategy for Afghanistan.

A second precondition for successful negotiations is for the U.S., still the most powerful and influential foreign actor in Afghanistan, to settle on a comprehensive political strategy. While the Trump administration’s Afghan policy remains a work in progress, there are clear indications it will maintain its presence in Afghanistan and likely enhance its military support. But it still must address the question of the optimal format and composition of the talks. The Quadrilateral Consultation Group comprising Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and the U.S. has been dormant since the May 2016 U.S. drone attack that killed Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor. Russia’s efforts to bring together Pakistan, China, Iran, India, and most recently Afghanistan, are more promising insofar as they include all regional stakeholders. But Washington declined Moscow’s invitation to participate in the process, concerned that Russia’s outreach to the Taliban, including some military support, could endanger U.S. stabilisation efforts and endanger the lives of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Given the U.S.’s key role, its absence clearly would be to the detriment of the process. The EU should continue providing technical support to a negotiating process that has broad Afghan support, which the Moscow-led process currently lacks even with one of the principal stakeholders, the Taliban.

A third essential element is for Pakistan to become convinced that its interests would be better served by a political settlement in Afghanistan than by continued Taliban insurgency. This will require international efforts both to pressure Pakistan to shift course and to facilitate constructive dialogue between Islamabad and Kabul. The U.S. role will be central, including by conditioning continued military support to Islamabad on Pakistan working with Kabul to bring the insurgents to the negotiating table and rethinking its support to the Taliban’s Quetta Shura and the Haqqani Network, now fully integrated into the insurgency’s command structure. While the U.S. is best placed to pressure Pakistan to reverse its support for Afghan proxies, the EU and member states should use trade and diplomatic ties with Pakistan and financial assistance to Afghanistan as leverage to persuade them to peacefully resolve their differences.

The Humanitarian Situation

Afghanistan suffers from one of the most protracted humanitarian crises in the world. In 2016, which witnessed some of the worst fighting since the U.S.-led intervention in October 2001, 646,698 persons were internally displaced due to conflict, compared to 70,000 in 2010; this added to the roughly one million conflict-displaced in previous years. 2016 also saw one million Afghan refugees and migrants forced to return home from Pakistan and Iran. The EU’s plan to deport back home some 80,000 Afghans whose request for asylum was rejected will further strain Afghanistan’s capacity. More broadly, both Kabul and the humanitarian community, including UN agencies, estimate that 9.3 million people, or almost one-third of Afghanistan’s population, will be in need of humanitarian assistance this year. As security continues to deteriorate and both Pakistan and Iran force more refugees and migrants to return, the humanitarian crisis likely will worsen.

The overall humanitarian crisis is putting enormous pressure on Afghanistan’s already stretched public services and infrastructure, especially in urban centres, where 70-80 per cent of internally displaced and returning refugees tend to settle; most are jobless or under-employed, with little or no access to health care or education. Countrywide, as many as 1.57 million face severe food insecurity. Women and girls are often the worst off given the country’s socially conservative nature. Addressing the humanitarian emergency will require continued, robust and long-term international, including EU, economic assistance. While the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should persuade Pakistan and Iran to end the forcible deportation of Afghan refugees and migrants, the EU and member states also should at the very least slow down deportations as security continues to deteriorate in Afghanistan.