Taliban’s access to advanced arms can turn the tide of war

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 03:24 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 59 times

Recently, there are reports on some developments that can completely turn the tide of the Afghan war. One of the developments is the acquisition of modern weaponry by the Taliban. Over the past three years, there have been similar reports, but one recent report says that the Taliban have acquired sophisticated night-vision goggles through which they have killed eight Afghan police in western Farah province. Using the night-vision technology, the militants have tracked Afghan police, and killed them in their beds before they could use their arms.

 

Taliban’s access to high-tech weapons and equipment can have grave consequences for the Afghan government, even to the extent of its collapse. Such arms can make the war impossible to win for the embattled Afghan government, and will only result in the repetition of the crisis such as the fall of President Dr. Najibullah’s government. The defeat of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan began soon after the US provided anti-aircraft missiles to Afghan Mujahideen. These rockets challenged the air force of the Soviets Union and the Russian-backed Afghan government, which finally collapsed. 

Now if the Taliban continue to gradually expand their access to modern weapons as the Mujahideen did, the Afghan forces currently suffering from corruption in their leadership will hardly be able to defend the country. How they will fight an enemy that is equipped with advanced weapons and is staging a guerrilla war for so long when their leaders are even stealing their salaries, and they are grappling with enormous problems getting weapons and military hardware. 

The National Unity Government leaders and their foreign backers have to take the issue of Taliban’s access to modern arms seriously. Before a bitter historical experience is repeated, they have to explore logical solutions, one of which is the resumption of peace talks which not only can prevent a major human tragedy in Afghanistan, but also offer an opportunity to the world’s powerful countries to protect their interests in Afghanistan without war.