Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, December 10th, 2018

Why Militants Have Intensified Attacks

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Why Militants Have  Intensified Attacks

Seemingly, the recent series of murders and suicidal attacks taking place across the country are linked to the ongoing process of delivering the security responsibilities to Afghan security forces. Taliban-led militants have staggeringly mounted their operations, and recently have attacked high ranking officials like assassination of brother of President Karzai, Mr. Ahmad Wali Karzai, and his major advisor, Jan Mohammad Khan. On Wednesday, July 20, too a suicidal attack killed five people and injured 15 others in the Dasht-e-Shor area on the outskirts of Mazar-e-Sharif city. According to reports, a bicycle rider crashed his explosive-planted bicycle to a van. There were five children and a woman among victims as well. A Day before, similar attacks took place in the southern Ghazni Province, which killed two people and injured 17 on the spot.

These series of attacks show the intensification of Taliban-led militants' activities and operations. But there is a question, "Why Taliban militants have intensified their attacks at the time when foreign forces have started leaving the country and handing over security responsibilities to Afghan security forces? What Taliban militants try to tell to Afghan government or its foreign allies?"

This is somehow a complicated question, because what normally figured out from violent struggle of Taliban-led militants is "for the power". In another word, what militants are trying for, ultimately, is Kabul and establishment of Sharia-oriented government here, and, perhaps, protecting their close allies like al-Qaeda and other terror networks. Indubitably, without expulsion of the existing government under chairmanship of Hameed Karzia and forcing its foreign allies, those objectives would remain in the territory of fantasy and daydream. Therefore, their strategies and policies all should circulate around their objectives and goals, and they should adopt policies through which they can capture power without larger loss of men and money.

Let's put it in this way. If militants want to force Sharia law on Afghan people, this cannot be met without capturing political power or, simply, government. What they are fighting for is power, nothing else, through which they can enforce all their religious concerns and desires. A sound mind says if power was the ultimate goal and objective of militants, they must have adopted policies which can take them easily as well as sooner to their cause. What kind of strategy is that?

As I mentioned above, Taliban militants have intensified their attacks amidst the process of foreign military withdrawal. Obviously, the intensification of their attacks would not accelerate the process instead would retard it, because the very volatile and critical security situation is the main reason behind foreign military presence.

It was likely that if the security situation was in a better condition, foreign security forces had left the country few years ago, and they only would have remained engaged in civil affairs. the only reason that international community, particularly, the United States of America surged troops, which was effective in dealing damaging blows to establishment of militants as well as elimination of numbers of top leaders along with tens of thousands of simple combatants, has been the security situation.  Taliban could hold back fire and waited for suitable time to mount pressure on Kabul government when its foreign allies already left and had no willingness to march troops once again.

Same is the case nowadays. Why militants do not just hold back fire and allow the foreign forces to leave the country without hesitation about the consequences? Instead they have intensified attacks and now operating in most secure and peaceful areas like that of Wednesday's attack in outskirt of Mazar-e-Sharif.

A strategic passiveness and inactivity in this time seems more favorable than increasing activities and attacks, in simple military calculation. It can provide a reason for exhausted many foreign country's forces, which are desperate to withdraw due to years' of unwilling military engagement, which have proved already too costly.  No doubt, Taliban leaders understand that many involved countries are just in need of a signal—stoppage of instant attacks.  Only a short-period of peace can provide the justification for them to get rid of the security sewer created by indefinite struggle with militants.

Even the case does not differ much with the United States. Presently, there are mounting civil pressures and people are increasingly turning against war in Afghanistan, which is fuelled through their-taxed money at time when sovereign debt is more than 13 trillion dollars and the government is struggling with huge budget deficit. Suffering at home, why the Americans pour billions of dollars for the improvement and development of a county far away?  Therefore, logics, reasons and the ground reality show that instead of intensification of attacks passiveness and strategic inactivity can take militants sooner to their goal - toppling off Karzai's government and establishment of Mullah Omer's one. But they are not doing so; they are doing completely in reverse. Why?

Are they not intended to capture Kabul government; or, more optimistically, they are completely disappointed of replacement of Karzai's government with that of Mullah Omer one? Hope it was, but seems not. They are in notion that they resisted against countries with latest military technologies and stood against more 3 hundred thousand combined forces of Afghan government and international community. Therefore, foreign forces are completely exhausted and neither have the will and nor the energy to waste here anymore. Thus, they have increased and intensified attacks to show that the foreign militaries are dismally scaling down from the country while their objectives - eliminating insurgency and destroying their hideouts - remained completely unrealized and unaccomplished.

 Through this, they brag about their success and defeat of their enemies. In addition, they try to show to international community that they are a counterbalance to Afghan government in the future and the international community should accept this bitter reality.  

Jawad Rahmani is the permanent writer of Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached through jawad_rahmani2001@yahoo.com

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