The Growing Security Challenges
Launching assaults on major cities has been used as a war strategy by militant groups in an attempt to show their strength and the vulnerability of the security in the major cities particularly the capital – Kabul. This week, the militants assaulted the office of the International Organization for Immigration (IOM) in Kabul which led to at least three deaths including two civilians and one police soldier. The tactics used by the militant fighters in the assault was familiar with security agencies. It was a group assault on the major unaffiliated agency which used the tactics of suicide attackers and bombings. The Taliban have used the strategy many times before in Kabul and other cities during last years. This year, a deadly attack by the militants on a courthouse in Farah province resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians.
In response to the latest attack in Kabul, the Afghan security forces contained the attackers with the least casualties. The United Nations, the US embassy in Kabul and the government praised Afghan security forces for their successful operation. But there were also some who said that Afghan forces need to improve its capabilities to confront the well-known assaults of the militants on the major cities. They believed now Afghan security forces are well familiar with the tactics the militant fighters use when they attack on government installations and offices of foreign organizations in Afghanistan. But in general, public confidence over the capabilities of the Afghan security forces have grown substantially as the security agencies are learning the craft of dealing with the urban war strategy of the Taliban.
As foreign forces are shifting to a support role and the bulk of their combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, the security is deteriorating and Taliban have been intensifying their assaults on major military, government and non-government installations in the major cities. But hopefully, the overall confidence of the public over the situation is stable. The main cause for being that despite a sharp rise militants’ assaults on major military and government installations across the country, Afghan security forces have aptly dealt with the attacks with minimizing the casualties of civilians and Afghan soldiers.
But it should not be neglected that security is deteriorating as the spring offensive of the Taliban is at its peak and the Afghan army and police are taking the lead in operations, handling the security and war operations by their own. The situation needs thorough security measures by security agencies and the National Security Council needs to overhaul security system including policies and arrangements to curb the growing wave of terrorist attacks across the country. The units specialized in confronting assaults of the Taliban in the cities should be transformed with equipping them with modern anti-insurgency equipments and weapons.
In the meantime, the government should review its policies towards the peace efforts and negotiations with the Taliban. Of course, peace deal is the only way for ending the war but it should put the Afghan government in a weaker position against the Taliban. The strategy of peace efforts should pursued in line with a robust military campaign against the militant groups. This would weaken them militarily and gradually convince them that negotiation is the only way for ending the conflict.