It has been often said by Afghan and international security officials that the Taliban militants have lost their ability to fight Afghan and foreign security forces face-to-face. These officials have tried to dispel public concerns about the resurgence of Taliban, saying that the militants and other insurgent groups are using hit-and-run tactics to assassinate government officials and employees or those supporting the system.
The increasing roadside bombings and suicide attacks by the insurgents were also justified by Afghan and foreign officials on the basis of this. It may be true that in many cases the Taliban militants do not fight face-to-face. But it does not necessary mean that they have lost their ability to do so. Perhaps, they do not want to use this and instead inflict many casualties by sustaining the least harm or no harm as the suicides and roadside bombing can serve this purpose.
Over the last two days, the Taliban militants have confronted Afghan and foreign forces in Kandahar. This is the first organized face-to-face assault after the group announced their spring offensive last week. Reports indicate that nearly a dozen people, including six suicide bombers, were killed and another 44 injured as clashes between security forces and militants entered a second day in southern Kandahar province on Sunday May 08, 2011.
The insurgents, using heavy and light weapons, on Saturday launched a wave of attacks on government offices at 1pm in Kandahar City. Trade fire between attackers and security forces continued until Sunday morning, with the insurgents firing and throwing hand grenades at the governor's house and other government departments. This attack comes after the embarrassing jailbreak in which about 500 Taliban prisoners escaped by digging a tunnel to the central prison of Kandahar province.
In reaction to the attacks, President Hamdi Karzai has said in a statement, "Al-Qaeda and its terrorist members who have suffered a major defeat with the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistani territory have tried to hide this defeat by killing civilians in Kandahar and take their revenge on the innocent people of Afghanistan."
Unfortunately, sometimes the president calls them his brothers and sometimes he calls them as terrorist members. This vacillation has emboldened the lunatic fringes. Before it is too late, Afghan and foreign forces must increase military pressure on the militants and not wait to be attacked by them.