The Increasing Security Challenges
Amid tensions between President Karzai and the United States, suicide attacks and bombings are increasingly targeting government institutions and high-profile officials and influential figures across the country. According to the reports, father and brother of Wolesi Jirga’s Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi were killed in a suicide attack in northern Kunduz Province. The attack also another four people during a Buzkashi match in the Imam Sahib district of the province. In another event, the security forces foiled a major suicide attack in Kabul, killing five and arresting two of the would-be attackers.
Today’s Kunduz attack and Kabul’s clashes indicate that the Taliban and Haqqani Network are desperately trying to destabilize big cities including the capital Kabul. These events seems to be related to a series of latest attempts by the insurgent groups to target major security and government compounds as well as government officials across the country. This year, the Taliban and Haqqani Network have organized a series of attacks on Kabul and many other key provinces. Last month, the Taliban targeted a compound of the National Directorate for Security (NDS) in downtown Kabul and the Kabul Traffic Police headquarter.
Killing Ibrahimi’s brother who was police chief of the Imam Sahib District along with his father reminds us the attempt on life of the spy chief Assadullah Khalid and the deaths of the senior High Peace Council’s officials including its former chairman Burhanuddin Rabbani. In additions to these threats, there are bombings and suicide attacks in provinces on daily basis claiming lives of hundreds of innocent civilians. Despite all the optimisms on capability of the Afghanistan’s National Security Forces and commitments of the US and NATO to post-2014 Afghanistan, the concerns over the post-2014 security and stability of Afghanistan are understandable as the US-led NATO forces are withdrawing from the unpopular war.
The security challenges intensify while the incendiary and controversial comments by president Karzai have strained the relations between Afghanistan and the United States. At this critical time, Afghanistan needs to cement its relations with its western allies and strengthen security cooperation for the sake future security of Afghanistan. But the recent comments by the president confused many in Afghanistan and shocked the US who thinks has sacrificed more than two thousand troops and spent billions of dollars in the war against the Taliban. A coalition of political parties comprised of both pro-government and oppositions, called the comments as irresponsible and harmful to the US-Afghan bilateral relations.
The latest incidents of insecurity in Kabul and other provinces highlight the urgency of more security cooperation between the US and Afghanistan. Kabul and Washington need to agree on robust security pact which includes presence of thousands of US troops in Afghanistan after the US-led NATO troops ends the combat mission by 2014. Any sort of moves straining relations of Kabul and Washington would be constructive for a cooperative relation between the two capitals and the future security of Afghanistan.