Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, August 24th, 2019

Terrorism in Afghanistan: Consequences for National Security and Economic Development

According to the history, terrorism is not a new phenomenon in world history in that it has existed in every age for several centuries. Historically, the following examples of important terrorist groups can be identified during the course of history: Baader Mainhof gang of West Germany, the Japanese Red Army, the Italian Red Brigade, the Palestinian al Fatah, Israeli Haganah, Osama bin Laden‘s Al-Qaeda, Khmer Rouge of Cambodia, the Viet Cong in Vietnam, Somalian al Shabaab, Al-Qaeda in the Maghreb (AQIM), ISIS in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan, Afghan Taliban, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan to mention but a few prominent ones. Terrorism in the world at large has risen to a sublime and the global community in a bid to stave-off this act which has constituted a threat to global peace and stability unanimously agreed to counter terrorism in all its forms and to also bring its perpetrators to justice. Terrorism is an insidious act common and conducted daily over decades and has been responsible for the physical and or structural violence experienced by many people in Afghanistan. The increase in the circulation, use and transfer of sophisticated weaponry and the consequences for violence, increased mass casualties and violence in Afghanistan, the past years have spirited scholarly efforts towards identifying the underlying causes, proffering solutions and curtailing futuristic tendencies of terrorism in Asia- particularly Afghanistan.
To aver that terrorism has far reaching implications for national security is to state the obvious. This is an aphorism considering the devastating effects of terrorism in Afghanistan recently. Aside from creating an ambiance of desolation and displacement, it further exacerbates the spate of instability in such an area and threatens peaceful coexistence. 
The resultant public security volatility in the region has been an impediment to trade and investment, peaceful co-existence and stability, as well as sustainable livelihood and development. This scenario has since complicated and accentuated the plight of the region as a developmentally challenged section of Afghanistan. In respect of the implications of terrorism for the wider polity of Afghanistan, it is to be noted that the Taliban insurgency has led to negative perception of Afghanistan as an unsafe country by the wider world. This has damaged Afghanistan‘s profile as a favorable international destination for investment, travel, and tourism. The implication of this is that Afghanistan is gradually drifting into the status of an ostracized nation. This does not promise well for the sustenance of the country‘s national security. Furthermore, the extent of violence and destruction that has been associated with the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan has been horrific. The advent of suicide bombing as a strategy for prosecuting terrorism by members of the sect has since signaled a new dimension to the national security challenge in the country. To say the least, the rising incidence and prevalence of terrorist attacks in Afghanistan have exposed the country to serious levels of humanitarian and territorial vulnerabilities. In the face of this situation, the sustenance of Afghanistan national security is at best problematic. Aside from this, terrorism in Afghanistan increases public insecurity, threatens livelihood, increases human right abuses, amplify population displacement and refugee debacle and swells human casualties/fatalities.
To be sure, desiring for development amidst terrorist attacks is illusory, as no real development can be attained in a war prone society characterized by incessant bombings and attacks, considering that Afghan democracy is nascent and can be easily disrupted by unrest.
In many of the attack-ridden areas, economic activities have come to a halt and this traumatic episode has affected mostly the petty traders who earn their meal on daily routine. Thus, while the country is striving towards capacity building, the Taliban is crumbling such efforts.
Direct Investment (FDI) towards the development of the Afghanistan economy can never be over emphasized.  This means that states need the relationship and partnership of one another to pursue development goals but the quest for foreign direct investment in Afghanistan has been compromised by the level of insecurity in the country. The Afghan government long before now understands the importance to woo foreign investors. And governments being aware of the limitation and incapability of the local investors wasted no time to vigorously and financially make provision for the injection of foreign capital in form of investments in the country. This it did through the use of shuttle diplomacy. This was protected and facilitated by the country’s confidence in its new found democracy which most foreign firms have pointed out as the basis for investigation.
The world we live is seriously under threat; domestic and international threat perpetuated on the basis of frustration, aggression, marginalization, ideology and such other excuses by terrorists, otherwise enemies of development. Without trivializing the grievances of the aggrieved parties, it is instructive to note that their perceived-misalignment does not absolve them of escalating violence and demeaning the political process but instead attracts the wrath of the government that will stop at nothing to crush such anomaly. To be sure, terrorism must be seen for exactly what it is- a threat to national security and development. Therefore, terrorism is an impediment to development in Afghanistan and has increased violation of human rights whilst deepening insecurity in the society. The social ills experienced in Afghanistan are both a means and end to terrorism in the country, thus to ensure sustainable development and national security in Afghanistan, it is imperative that terrorism is nipped in the bud. Mitigating the adverse effects of terrorism will surely pave way for a meaningful, systematic, holistic and responsible development which will be co-operative, responsive and co-responsible in its entirety.