Rising insecurity bolstering need to change war management

Wednesday, 05 October 2016 03:46 Written by  Heart of asia Read 341 times

There is no positive development in the country’s security situation. Insecurity and insurgent activities have taken an upward trend. Although the Taliban’s activities were limited to southern and southeastern provinces until a few year back, now there are daily reports of clashes, explosions and deaths nearly all over the country, from the east to the west, the north and to the south. The escalation of fighting has sent the casualties of civilians as well as of both sides to the conflict worryingly high.


Over the recent months, Helmand and Kunduz provinces have taken the brunt of the fighting. The Taliban overran the strategic Kunduz city after launching a surprise multi-pronged assault on it at dawn on Monday for a second time almost exactly a year after their first brief takeover of the city in fifteen years following their ouster. The last year’s Taliban capture of Kunduz undermined the faith of Afghans in the ability of Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), and in the future of the country, and also gave the US a pretext to delay its Afghanistan troop drawdown.
While there was a lot of criticism of the government for failing to stop the fall of Kunduz to the Taliban last year, the bitter experience repeated once again. By the same token, Helmand’s two districts – Nawa and Khanshin—fell to the Taliban one after another in two days, and the provincial capitals of Baghlan and Uruzgan provinces are also under serious threat.
Besides foreign interference which is considered the root cause of the Afghan conflict, the government’s weakness and flaws have led to growing insecurity, and the collapse of districts and even provincial capitals to the Taliban. Even though the government uses the term -- “tactical retreat” -- for the fall of regions, many questions about it remain unanswered.
The fall of districts has become a routine matter. Every week, there are reports about districts falling to the insurgents, and then retaken by government forces. The Taliban’s capture of districts and government checkpoints has become a tool for them to seize military vehicles and large cache of weapons, which are then used against ANDSF. Also in some instances, covert deals are blamed for the fall of regions and districts to the Taliban, with some reports suggesting that some military officials leave checkpoints to the Taliban in exchange for money, but yet leaders of the government not only do not question them, but also send them elsewhere, and even recognize their performance sometimes. This unfavorable practice has led to the incapability of ANDSF to repel insurgent offensives despite spending billions of dollars on them. 
Given the past bitter experiences, the government has to bring substantial reform in the security apparatus, and delegate the management of war to capable individuals.