Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Sunday, February 18th, 2018

Trump’s New Strategy for Afghanistan: A Recipe for Solution

The Taliban started a new round of attacks and suicide bombings in the Capital and other parts of Afghanistan, causing huge humanitarian causalities. The majority of the victims of International Continental Hotel, and the attack with ambulance packed with explosives in one of the crowded Areas of Kabul were the civilians. Targeting the civilians is not an act by accident, it is a strategic approach by the terrorist groups to the war with the Afghan government and its international community who support it. On the other hand, it is masterminded by ISI to convey this message to the USA, if you put us on pressure we can do the same with you through our proxy groups. It is more than one and half decade that the Afghan government and the USA have made any measures to end the Afghan war through negotiations with the Taliban. However, this strategy has failed. That’s why Trump announced the US does not want to negotiate with Taliban any more since the terrorist group just has kept its pace with intensifying the war and targeting the civilians intentionally. And Ghani the Afghan president, in an act of strategic alignment with the US strategy announced that “we will defeat Taliban in the battle fields”. This new approach seems logical, it is the rule of the game of the war, and a sustainable peace just can be achieved through strong war to defeat the enemy and put it under such a pressure that leaves no room for it, except accepting your conditions or at least sit at the negotiation table for a win- win talk.
The Key Pieces of the Trumps’ Afghanistan Strategy
Shifting from a time-based approach to one based on conditions; this tactic not only disappoints the terrorist groups but also ensures the Afghan people and government that they will not be left alone once more. Based on this, there will be no room left for the terrorist groups that can change once more Afghanistan to their safe hideout because the US and its allies will stay with the Afghan people until when the terrorist groups and their regional supporters cannot threaten Afghanistan and other countries, especially the US, anymore.  Integrating American power-diplomatic, economic and military; this ensures a comprehensive approach to war and mobilizing all instruments to achieve one strategic goal; as a result there will be synergy among the diplomatic, economic and military tools and will paralyses the enemies. In other words, if in a war strategy, one of these aspects is neglected, the enemy may sustain; e. g; if the economic aspect is not considered in the war strategy, and you just take measures using diplomatic and military apparatuses in the war, the enemy may find a way to sustain through access to economic opportunities.
Changing the US Approach in dealing with Pakistan; this shift is the most strategic shift of the US approach in the war on terror in Afghanistan. The main cause and roots of the war is not in Afghanistan, but outside it; in Pakistan. It has been an issue that the Afghan governments have always tried to satisfy the international community that the terrorist groups are trained, given safe heavens and provided intelligence support from Pakistan. However, this was not appreciated by the international community so far. By this strategic shift of the US approach, Pakistan either shall put an end to its proxy war in Afghanistan and not to support the terrorist groups in the country or shall face tough reactions of the US. Afghanistan may not reach to a sustainable peace unless Pakistan puts an end to its interference in the country.
Develop strategic partnership with India; the US required to review its approach to India-Pak in terms of the US geopolitical context. The US has spent more than $31 billion on military aid supports to Pakistan and it has spent the money on supporting the terrorist groups in the region. And as Trump puts it: “Wecan no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond”. The US required to have a true ally in Afghanistan, an ally to be committed to civilization, order and to peace, and it is not Pakistan.
Persistence in Strategy implementation; the remarks of Trump on postponing peace talks with the Taliban is just the right strategic approach to the group. Talking with the terrorist groups amid escalating their offensives not only has no strategic benefits but strategic failure; it only encourages the terrorist group and its regional supporter to go along with their atrocities and massacring the civilians as a strategy to make the Afghan government and the USA to surrender to their conservative and terrorist logics.
The New US Strategy for Afghanistan is the strategic opportunity for Afghanistan and the region to align themselves with it to put an end to terrorism in the region. It is a positive step that the US rejected negotiations with the Taliban and at the same time the Afghan president said we will defeat the Taliban in the battlefields. It not only creates synergy among the Afghan and US strategies but also gives a strong message to the Taliban and other terrorist groups and their supporters that they cannot win the war through escalating their offensives and massacring the people indiscriminately.