Amid so many pieces of bad news about Afghanistan – worst level of security, terrible political instability, massive corruption, uncontrolled drug trafficking etc. – finally there is good news too. According to reports, members of the Afghan Ministry of Interior's Air Interdiction Unit or AIU have recently reached a major milestone with the completion of its first fully-integrated counter narcotics operation alongside a coalition aircrew.
The mission, originating from the Afghan Air Force compound in Kabul, was flown by Afghan AIU Special Forces pilots and—according to AIU officials—was aimed at destroying illegal drugs and drug-making equipment in Achin District in Nangahar province. According to mission planners, a large drug lab and one ton of illegal drugs were destroyed during the raid.
This should be music in the ears of the people of Afghanistan, as they have been waiting eagerly since long to see their young soldiers conducting air operations against the culprits struggling for destruction of Afghanistan.
Afghans have been hearing about the low capacity of their country's security forces who are inadequately equipped to successfully defend Afghanistan. But the destruction of drugs by helicopters flown by Afghans is signaling that things are changing. Afghanistan is moving towards having a competent land and air forces.
More than 90 percent of the world's total opium is produced in Afghanistan. There have been serious questions on the performance of government against the widespread trade of opium in the country and the growing number of drug addicts.
The number counter narcotics police have been inadequate to curb the growth of poppy cultivation and drug trafficking. Lack of equipment and proper skills has added fuel to the fire. But as we are moving ahead, the situation seems to be going towards betterment. The first counter narcotics air raid by Afghans themselves is an example for this and it seems like the hard works of the international mentors have started giving results.
The insurgents have turned Afghanistan into a hell which is severer issue for Afghanistan than narcotics. The insurgents to become stronger at a juncture where the NATO forces have started leaving the country, is quite dangerous for the stability of Afghanistan.
In the post-2014 Afghanistan, in addition to ground forces of Afghanistan, the Afghan Air Force is expected to play a vital role in defending the country. It is hoped that, like the counter narcotics force, the Afghan army would also start flying their helicopters and jets to target the enemies of this country.