Escalation of war amid meager peace efforts

Sunday, 06 August 2017 02:47 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 96 times

With each passing day, the Taliban are turning the tide of the Afghan conflict. They now hold sway over large swathes of areas they ever had control of since their ouster from power, and their activities are not limited to the country’s south considered as their traditional stronghold, but they are rather able to capture districts in eastern to western, central and even northern provinces, where they were not expected to gain a foothold until a few years back. Though the government has long lost control of many of the country’s remote areas, now the major cities are faced with serious security challenges. The government has failed to provide security along the highways considered as the lifeline to sustain. Recently, the Taliban were able to shut the Kabul-Kandahar Highway by a single warning to drivers. 

 

Additionally, the level of casualties among Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) has reached record high. Based on a report released by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a leading US government oversight authority for Afghan reconstruction, the war in Afghanistan claims the lives of at least 20 Afghan soldiers on a daily basis. The casualties of civilians and militants, as well as the number of wounded among Afghan forces are not included in this statistics. Given the high toll, one can easily imagine the level of intensity of the war in Afghanistan. Despite increased violence and the conclusion by all sides that the Afghan conflict doesn’t have a military solution, there are virtually no efforts to achieve peace in the country. None of the parties involved in the conflict has ever made any efforts producing tangible results. Afghan government is waiting for the United States to declare its new Afghan policy, while American officials at the White House continue to be at loggerheads over the future of Afghanistan. 

Without the US, none of the warring sides of the Afghan conflict has the ability to sustain the intense battle for a long time. Neither Afghan forces can bear the high human toll for many years nor can the Taliban overthrow the Afghan government in the presence of US. The continuity of war only claims the lives of Afghans on both sides, while the United States may suffer economically because its troops are not directly involved in ground battles, but it can still compensate the economic losses through various ways. Accordingly, both the Afghan government and the militants should come to the negotiating table before further persecuting the war-weary nation. Instead of asking others to restore peace to the country, they should discuss their demands and conditions for peace themselves, and put an end to the imposed war, which has nothing to give to Afghan people, but suffering and unbearable human and financial losses.