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Who Are the Stakeholders in Afghanistan?— PICTURES Who Are the Stakeholders in Afghanistan?— PICTURES

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Defense / national security

Who Are the Stakeholders in Afghanistan?— PICTURES

photo of Jenna  Zwang
May 3, 2012

After Obama's unannounced visit to Afghanistan on May 1, many are wondering about the future of the United States' presence in Afghanistan. We take a look at the interests of the major stakeholders in Afghanistan.

(RELATED: Dispatches from Afghanistan—The Beginning of the End)

Afghan Public: Afghan citizens want autonomy. However, some are nervous that if the United States removes all forces, their own security forces will be overwhelmed by the Taliban. While many want the U.S. out, they don't want to negotiate with the Taliban. They've been frustrated by collateral damage and incidents such as the civilian massacre and Quran burning, but are worried about being entirely abandoned with an unprepared security force.(AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)

Hamid Karzai: The President of Afghanistan wants all foreign troops out of his country, eventually. He wants control over Afghanistan to be in under his control, an opinion that has gained popularity with Afghan citizens. Still Karzai's ability to maintain control is in part contingent on the security that U.S. and allied troops provide.(MARCO Di LAURO/AP)

American Public: A majority of American citizens want U.S. forces to withdraw from Afghanistan sooner rather than later, even before security forces are fully trained. Americans are aware that Afghans no longer want their military there, and 35 percent are no longer sure if the war was worth fighting.(AP Photo/David Longstreath)

 

President Barack Obama: Obama's recent speech addressed bringing remaining American troops home, while also training Afghan security forces through 2014. He also spoke of negotiating with the Taliban while "delivering justice" to al Qaeda. In reality, al Qaeda's foothold in Afghanistan has been significantly weakened, in large part due to drone strikes.(UPI/Kevin Dietsch)

The Taliban: In an interview with CNN, a spokesperson for Mullah Omar, the leader of the organization said the Taliban's goals are as follows: "We ask from the beginning and we say once again: to enforce the sharia law and Islamic government in Afghanistan, to remove foreign forces from our country."(AP Photo/Arshad Butt)

NATO: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization's stated goal is to establish strong Afghani leadership and make sure Afghan's security forces are sustainable.(AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

 

Pakistan: Afghanistan's neighbor has a long history of being entangled in the country's affairs. Pakistan can exert quite a bit of influence over Afghanistan, and has been accused of secretly backing Taliban forces there. Pakistan views the Taliban as a deterrent to rival India's attempts to gain influence in Afghanistan. Karzai often asks Pakistan to mediate peace talks with the Taliban, and Pakistan's foreign minister has admitted "“The burden that Pakistan carries is of trying to claim more than its due share” in Afghanistan.(AP Photo/K.M.Chaudary)

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