Admiral James Stavridis was Nato's supreme allied commander from 2009-13, overseeing operations in Afghanistan and dealing with challenges from cyberthreat to piracy. An author and dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Stavridis spoke with Josy Joseph about the way forward for Afghanistan, how he sees India and China's dynamics play out — and what security means in the 21st century:
What's in store for Afghanistan once troop withdrawal happens in a few months? Should India be worried?
Well, today there are troops from 50 nations in a major coalition supporting the Afghan police and military forces which number over 350,000. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are very effectively stopping the Taliban who remain incapable of holding ground or doing any significant damage beyond occasional car bombs and suicide attacks.
The extremely successful election in Afghanistan, in which 7 million voters, over 60% turnout, higher than in a typical election in USA, went off very smoothly. Over 35% eligible women voted, by the way. I believe if Afghanistan signs an agreement with the US and Nato to continue hosting 15,000 mentors and trainers and also continues to fund the ANSF, the Afghan military will successfully control security throughout the vast majority of the country.
Read the full interview