The Deadly Wave of Spring Offensive
As the spring season of offensive by the Taliban is at its peak, the Taliban has carried out multiple attacks in recent days in Kabul and other cities of Afghanistan. In the latest attack, the Taliban militants assaulted local office of the International Committee of the Red Crescent (ICRC) in eastern Nangarhar province. According to some reports, a senior official of the ICRC was among eight people killed in the attack which involved clashes between the assailants and security forces. Shortly before the attack in Nangarhar, a group of suicide attackers assaulted on the governor’s office in Panjshir province north of Kabul. A day earlier, the officials announced that seven police forces were killed by a Taliban infiltrator in the Arghistan district of southern Kandahar province. All the attacks came only days after a major suicide attack in Kabul which targeted the office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) leaving a police soldier and two civilians dead.
In addition to the attacks on major government installations and foreigners’ offices in Kabul and other cities, there have been a sharp rise in casualties of the Afghan National Security Forces in recent weeks. Launching assaults on major cities has been used as an urban war strategy by the Taliban in an attempt to show their strength and the vulnerability of the security situation in the country. All major attacks carried out by the Taliban in recent weeks was similar in tactics. They were whether group suicide attacks and targeting Afghan security forces by remote-controlled bombings or infiltrating among them, as known ‘insider attacks’. The Taliban has shifted to using the strategy in this spring fighting season with organizing major attacks on Kabul and other cities in recent months. This year, a deadly attack by the militants on a courthouse in Farah province resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians.
In recent months, the security situation has been deteriorating as the spring offensive of the Taliban is at its peak and the Afghan army and police are taking the lead role in the against insurgent groups. The situation needs thorough security measures by the security agencies and the government needs to revise defense policies to cope with the growing wave of terrorist attacks across the country. The units specialized in responding terrorist attacks carried out by the Taliban should be further developed with equipping them with modern anti-insurgency equipments and weaponry.
As NATO forces are shifting to a support and advise role and their combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the security is facing a serious challenge: it is deteriorating. In recent weeks, the Taliban have been intensifying their assaults on major military, government and non-government installations in the major cities. The current fighting season is a real test for the Afghan National Security Forces – the ANSF. Afghan forces desperately need advanced weaponry and defense equipments to fight the hard-headed insurgency. Though there is considerable confidence among the public over the credibility and capability of the Afghan army, but the army’s lack of crucial military and aerial firepower as well as intelligence and medical capabilities make the forces vulnerable against the resurgence of the insurgent groups.