Over the last few days, foreign forces operating in Afghanistan to stabilize the country against terrorist forces have suffered heavy losses in helicopter crashes, explosion and roadside bombings. In Saturday's crash, around 31 US soldiers along 7 Afghan army soldiers were killed. In a televised tribute to the dead, president Obama said, "We will press on and we will succeed. Our troops will continue the hard work of transitioning to a stronger Afghan government and ensuring that Afghanistan is not a safe haven for terrorists.
" This was a tragic incident and definitely the feelings and thoughts of Afghan people would go out to the bereaved families of those killed. But it is also a stark reminder of the bitter fact that Afghan people and their international allies continue to remain at war against evil forces that continue to kill innocent people, disrupt peace and stability in Afghanistan and attempt to turn it into a safe haven for terrorists once again. After the casualties, the U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has said, "As heavy a loss as this was, it would even be more tragic if we allowed it to derail this country from our efforts to defeat Al-Qaeda and deny them a safe haven in Afghanistan."
The good news for Afghan people is that international community knows how tragic and catastrophic it will be to abandon Afghanistan without leaving behind a center of gravity with monopoly of legitimate use of force. More importantly, considering the current deteriorating situation, international community will not be without compunction if they let the prolongation of war and their losses prevent them from helping Afghan people build a country without further suffering.
Also on Tuesday, August 09, 2011, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commander General John Allen, in a statement, said, "Today, as we pay our respects to these magnificent troops, we re-commit ourselves for the future, and for the freedom, peace and stability of Afghanistan. We will continue to relentlessly pressure the enemy and we will continue to develop the Afghan National Security Forces so that on their strong, broad shoulders they can defeat this insurgency and bring lasting and enduring peace to this historic land and this great people… We will prevail."
Earlier a NATO spokesman said in Kabul that the enemy continues to resist relentlessly and to defeat them will require a tough fighting. It is to be mentioned that the recent serial killing of influential figures and officials, and the recent civilian casualties in Helmand and Urozgan provinces all warrant such a tough fighting and military pressure to be put on the Taliban militants and other insurgent outfits. There is a need for turnaround and it will not be possible without going for toughening the fighting to curb the insurgents that have intensified their attacks in the face of security transition and withdrawal of foreign forces.