Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, November 28th, 2020

The Paradoxical logic of War in Afghanistan

There are several hypotheses about legitimacy or illegitimacy of the ongoing war in Afghanistan. Although these hypotheses have different nature and features such as religious, civil war, defensive war and so on, none has been logically and legally justified by the Taliban. Usually, the war literature of Taliban war is based on religious concepts such Jehad, martyrdom and Mojahedin, but with the successive attacks on religious centers, religious scholars, worshipers, fasters and so on they showed a  paradoxical logic.  From one hand, they have been blamed for killing of religious scholars, worshipers, fasters, on the other hand have been talking about Islam and Jehad. From one hand, they have been blamed for destroying mosques and religious centers. On the other hand, they have been talking about establishment of Islamic government. The recent successive killings of religious scholars in large cities of the country, like Mawlawi Nayazi and others are of the recent examples which questioned the religious legitimacy of war in the country. Given to the aforesaid inconsistent logic, in 2018, more than 2,000 Afghan religious scholars gathered in Kabul to examine the status of ongoing war in Afghanistan from Islamic viewpoint. After some discussions they outlawed the current war in a collective faithwa. The religious scholars stressed in their statement that war in its all forms are forbidden under the Islamic law and it is nothing except shedding the blood of Muslims whereas the real victims are innocent Afghan men, women, and children. In same year, there were other similar gatherings in Pakistan and Indonesian to discuss the roots and reasons of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and to find a durable peace solution for the conflicts of war-torn country. The Islamic scholars of three countries, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia, had issued collective and successive declaration on the war and peace in Afghanistan, in which they promulgated their opposition against the terrorism stressing on ending war and bringing peace in Afghanistan.
Regardless of Ulema consensus on illegitimacy of war in Afghanistan, Taliban could have two types of justifications about the ongoing war in the country: fighting against occupation of the country and fighting against enemies of Islam. They attributed the main cause of the conflict to “foreign aggression and interference”. They fought against the international forces because they were infidel and occupied the country but after the secret agreement with the United States and successive attacks on Islamic scholars and centers both of the justifications have been negated. Now, there is no way to justify suicide attacks, kidnapping, drug trafficking so forth with Islamic rule and regulation. In fact, fighting under name of jihad with killing children, women, worshipers, religious scholars etc, while excluding foreigners, are ridiculous.
Now that the foreign forces are going to leave the country or accepted to stay in the country, the religious and political justification of war has been automatically abolished and so there is no more logic behind intensification of war in the country. Although Taliban justified their wars on basis of country’s occupation, in practice it is said that they have also been blamed for accepting a relative presence of foreigners in the country through the secret parts of the Doha agreement. In recent months, there was a report in media that the US will maintain seven bases in Afghanistan. These bases are in Herat Province, Mazar-a-Sharif, Bagram, Jalalabad, Kabul (both the airport and the main American base next to the embassy) and Kandahar Airfield in the south. Despite these paradoxical reasons, Taliban continued its military operations against the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF). As consequences, thousands of military and civilians are victimized in a non-sense war in the country.
In addition to paradoxes of the Taliban war with religious and political criteria, it is also in contradiction to the national interests. In case Taliban have religious and political problem with foreigners and current government, why they keep destroying the economic and educational infrastructures of the country. Why do they kill their Muslim compatriots and brothers? Why do they destroy educational centers and many other public places which belong to the people of Afghanistan? Why do they keep silene against aggressions on the border provinces? Given the paradoxical logic of Taliban, it seems that the switch of the ongoing war and peace is not at the hands of Taliban and therefore, the people and the government of Afghanistan need to negotiate with the switch holders of Taliban.
As the logic of war has eroded, the Taliban faced with waves of criticisms in public opinion. Inside Afghanistan all normal people including religious scholars have repeatedly condemned killings of security forces and civilians saying there is no more justification for Taliban to continue war against Afghan Muslim people. In response to people and Ulema’s position, instead of putting their logic forward, they tried to repress voices of Ulema with killing of the innocent scholars. The recent martyrdom of Mawlawi Nayazi showed the end of Taliban ideology. As a consequence, everyone criticizes the Taliban for continuing attacks on the Afghan security forces, saying there is no space for the Taliban to fight while they have agreed to make peace with foreigners. In some provinces and districts when the government could not defend people, they themselves stood against the Taliban fighters.
In international level, the US, NATO, EU, UN and many regional actors have repeatedly denounced the Taliban war because of killing civilians and destroying the infrastructure of the country. The collective position of foreign embassies in Kabul is of the recent example of the international community’s position about the non-sense war. Out the mentioned actors, the EU and UN have more seriously denounced that the Taliban’s of violence saying  it is against the spirit of the peace deal signed between the United States and the Taliban in Doha.