Thousands of US airstrikes: What have actually Afghans achieved?

Sunday, 28 January 2018 03:36 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 182 times

To put an end to Afghan war, the United States always embraces strategies that in fact further deepen and protract the conflict. The US fought for more than 15 years in Afghanistan using the ploy that it is suppressing terrorists, a war that claimed the lives of thousands of Afghan civilians and security forces beside hundreds of American troops. During this time, US airstrikes have repeatedly targeted Afghan weddings, funeral ceremonies, markets and other gatherings. Numerous militants and their leaders were killed, but what we achieved: escalation of war, a rising wave of violence and insecurity in major cities, and even bringing Afghan government to the verge of collapse. Neither Afghan forces became capable of independently defending the country nor were the insurgents eliminated. Persistence on military settlement of the Afghan war gave the rebels a chance to recruit new fighters, mostly from the youth who were jobless because of a lack of attention to Afghan economy by the international community, particularly the United States. 


This comes as the US has carried out approximately 4,300 airstrikes in Afghanistan in 2017, a twofold increase compared to 2015 and 2016. The significant surge in US air campaign has come following the announcement of the new US strategy for Afghanistan and South Asia by Donald Trump. The strategy is apparently billed as a weapon to pressure the Taliban to come to the negotiating table, but it is unlikely to come to fruition given the experience of the past. When over 100,000 foreign troops could not force the rebels to enter peace talks with Afghan government, it is completely impossible for 15,000 of them to achieve that goal. 

Even the twofold surge in airstrikes has not contributed to stability in Afghanistan. Insurgents still can target a heavily-guarded hotel in the heart of capital Kabul, and fight for 17 hours. The capitals of provinces remain on the verge of fall into the hands of rebels, who hold sway over half of the country. Government control is limited to provincial capitals and district buildings. The thousands of US airstrikes neither brought peace to Afghanistan nor weakened the terrorists. The civilian casualties they caused rather presented the terrorists an opportunity to justify the war and recruit new fighters by convincing people that they were right. 

Bombs and killings cannot end Afghan conflict; if they could, Afghan people would have already had peace and progress.  Peace talks are the only solution. The sooner that solution is pursued, the more Afghan blood and American treasure will be saved. 


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