01/31/2018, 11.20
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Military operations will not solve the problem in Afghanistan

Kabul is immersed in a climate of fear. Once it was a destination for those who left their hometown in search of security. Isis and the Taliban are competing for power. The Taliban are more rooted. "One thing is clear: the inability of the Afghan security forces, intelligence agencies and the government"


Kabul (AsiaNews) - "Military operations will not solve the problem of Afghanistan” states Obaid Ali,  political researcher at Afghanistan Analysts Network (Ann) a non-profit research group, following the recent spate of bloody attacks that have claimed more than 100 victims in the capital.

"There is a climate of fear in the city," says Obaid. "People prefer to stay in their homes, they don't want to go out, most of the shops in the city center are shut down, and government offices are closed".

"In Kabul, at the moment, the population has increased, and for this reason if there is an attack in the city, like a suicide attack, the number of civilian casualties is very high. Many have fled their hometowns to go to Kabul, which they considered a safe place. But if we look at the series of attacks that have taken place there, it means that not even Kabul is safe."

In Afghanistan, the Taliban and Daesh "represent a serious threat, and both seek to present themselves as the strongest group in the country".

There are fundamental differences between the two groups, moreover "there is no solid evidence to show a collaboration" - rather they have clashed over the past two years, with Taliban attacks against Isis in the East and by self-pro-clamed Isis commander in the northeast part  of the country.

The Taliban, which are the strongest group, are changing tactics: “The Us forces increase in the number of air strikes and targeted killing of  prominent Taliban figures has prevented the Taliban to carry large-scale offenses. So, for this reason, the Taliban now try to coordinate the attacks against the Afghan government in big cities. That is why we've seen regular attacks in Kabul".

Isis has a strong base in the eastern part of the country, and has also claimed several attacks in Kabul. The last, the attack on the checkpoint near the military academy of Marsha Fahim, in which 11 Afghan soldiers died.

"One thing is clear: the inability of the Afghan security forces, the intelligence agencies and the government", comments Obaid. "What we have seen in recent months is that the Afghan government has failed to protect its citizens even in the capital. This has a strong psychological impact, not only on the government, but also on ordinary people ".

Asked about the new strategy announced by US President Donald Trump to increase the number of forces in the country, Obaid says: "In the past decade, we have seen a number of international armies here in Afghanistan. But to date, we have also seen that they are not effective. The strategy of increased military operations in the territory will not solve the problem, it would lead to a new season of clashes in the country, to more civilian victims".

The analyst says the hope is that of a political resolution, but the possibilities are few. "Unfortunately," he comments. "2017 saw a failure to reach a peaceful conclusion with the Taliban, despite the fact that there were several initiatives launched by different channels. We have not yet seen any valid results, because there is a lack of trust between the two parties involved".

"We need greater efforts and initiative in peace negotiations," concludes Obaid. "If the war continues there will be more civilian victims, killings, more and more people will be forced to flee their homes”.

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