Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Ghazni Attack: A fatal Intelligence Failure

Ghazni is a strategically important center straddling the main highway linking Kabul with the south of the country. The attack on Ghazni is the most serious blow struck by the Taliban since they came close to overrunning the western city of Farah in May.
What objectives Taliban pursues in Ghazni Attack
Taliban intends its terrorist activities to have an emotional impact on the target audience, causing it to act in a manner that furthers the group’s objectives. Military experts hold that terrorist operations generally are categorized in terms of their associated goals. These goals traditionally are divided into five categories: recognition, coercion, intimidation, provocation, and insurgency support. The objective that Taliban pursue from Ghazni attack is mainly focused on provocation aiming to force government security forces to take repressive action against the general populace. Taliban targeted the critical infrastructures, popular or high-profile individuals, or important facilities for further provocations. And the terrorist group wants to demonstrate the weakness of the Afghan government at the verge of the peace talks.
What Terrorist Tactics Uses Taliban
Taliban, as a terrorist group has used different tactics in the past including: hijackings, kidnappings, bombings, assassinations, armed assaults, and barricade-hostage incidents. According to the current situation they use bombings, assassinations, and armed assaults which are less risky and generally require less organizational capabilities. Taliban by employing these tactics tends to accomplish the following goals: Create a climate of fear in among the civilians through a sustained campaign of violence; it also wants to negatively affect Peace process that sees as against its interests or its sponsors interests; and eliminate specific individuals or groups in the province that pose threats to them due to public influence they have among the people.
Security analysts argue that attaining the terrorist organization’s goals depends on receiving adequate information for planning and executing an operation. They emphasis that the Eidul Fitr ceasefire, has been miscued by the terrorist group of Taliban; first, many of the armed Taliban came to the cities including, Kabul, Ghazni, Heart , Mazar e Sharif and they stayed in the cities to carry out terrorist attacks; As such, this opportunity served them to access to the detailed information for planning and executing its attacks on Ghazni and other major cities of Afghanistan. Also, the Taliban could access to the information on the movements of key personnel, or the identity and vulnerabilities of critical facilities. Security analysts insist that Afghan ANSF and especially the NDS shall take the necessary measures to deny terrorists the critical information that they require planning an attack, and shall implement security countermeasures that are commensurate with the assessed level of risk. 
Terrorist operations require detailed information for planning and executing an attack. The terrorist groups spend a lot of time and money to have access to intelligence to produce intelligence required for an attack. Though, the Eidul-Fitr short term ceasefire was an strategic breakthrough in the Afghan long standing conflict, it provided the Taliban a unique opportunity to have access to the information they require for an attack in different parts of Afghanistan. In addition, Afghan ANSF and especially the NDS failed to take the necessary measures to track the armed Taliban who entered into the cities during the ceasefire and remained for planning and carrying out terrorist attacks. This is one of the causes of mounting attacks by the Taliban after the ceasefire, causing huge human and material casualties to the Afghan people and government. The main lesson of the short terms ceasefires to Afghanistan is that, we shall pursue reaching a sustainable peace through different chillness and at the same time shall not create conducive conditions to the terrorist groups to misuse our good will and base their military offensives on such initiatives. To do this, the NDS plays the key role to deny information to the terrorist groups.