Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Monday, June 26th, 2017

Displaying Power through Violence and Bloodshed

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Displaying Power through Violence and Bloodshed

Being defeated in battles, the Taliban militants have targeted public places and military bases within recent months with a sense of revenge. The Taliban fighters are unable to have face-to-face war with Afghan soldiers and continue their guerilla-style fighting. The deadly attack on military base in Mazar-e-Sharif, which killed and wounded a large number of Afghan soldiers, triggered a public reaction against this group. Now the question is that what is the main reason behind killing non-combatants and destroying infrastructures? It seems that the Taliban pursue some certain purposes through playing a deadly and destructive role:
1- Feeling a sense of revenge against Afghan National Army (ANA)
After sustaining large casualties and bitter fiasco, warring factions, mainly the Taliban outfit, seek to take revenge via intensifying their suicide attacks. The Taliban, along with regional intelligence, were likely to plan to occupy some provinces of Afghanistan and dominate certain realm. However, their dream did not come true and they sustained large casualties in Helmand, Uruzgan and Kunduz. The serial of failures led to a splinter group among the Taliban elements. To put a lid on their failures, the Taliban ushered in terrorist attacks and shedding the blood of non-combatants. The militants also intended to fill the public air with fear and horror. But it is believed that the Taliban will never achieve their objectives by killing the civilians after being defeated constantly in battles. It is self-explanatory that targeting civilians and public infrastructures reflect their weakness.
2- Harming the morale of Afghan soldiers
The second reason behind targeting civilians, public infrastructures and military bases is weakening the morale and determination of Afghan National Army (ANA) and to make them quit their services. Therefore, the Taliban intensified their attacks on military bases. The attacks on Dawud Khan Hospital and Shahin Military Corps took place with the very intention. The Taliban, further, seek to spread horror and terror among the public through media. In other words, they want to show that they have infiltrated within the soldiers and will carry out attacks whenever they want. Hence, this tactic will provoke a sense of mistrust among Afghan soldiers and will weaken their morale to some extent. Despite this fact that the soldiers stand with strong will against warring factions, including the Taliban, and spreading fear and hatred by the Taliban, some media and group point out the salient points of the Taliban’s power and flam the fire of sectarianism which is a matter of great concern. It is worth mentioning that warring factions recruit soldiers through using the same tactic namely coloring the minds of individuals with the brush of race, color and creed. In this case, the government should adopt a counter-insurgency mechanism, coordinated with media and other institutions, to foil the hostile plans of the terrorist networks and prevent from the spread of fear and terror. To overcome these challenges, both the state and nation need common policy. That is to say, Afghanistan must not let enemies to weaken the morale of our soldiers – this is viable through spreading exact and organized awareness. So, it is the nation, including the media, to boost the soldiers’ morale so that they could gain upper hand in battles against insurgency.
3- Provoking public sensation against the government
Targeting public places and civilians and its coverage by the media and cyberspace will affect public minds. The Taliban post victims’ pictures and video and their deadly attacks with the aim of spreading fear in the society. Therefore, warring parties seek to preach and show their attacks and post inhuman and tragic scene in cyberspace to put mental pressure on people. Hence, being pressurized mentally, a gap will emerge between state and nation.
No wonder, if this trend continues without an effective mechanism to curb the issue and without a strong strategy to counter insurgency, the rift between state and nation will widen. In other words, with the unmitigated militancy and high fatalities, one will conclude that the state has neglected in this regard and people will lose their trust in the government. The Taliban seek to create the same gap so that they could fish in the troubled waters. Therefore, the government must gain the public support in this respect and let the Taliban not control the situation. The state will have to utilize the view and critic of political figures and analysts about engineering the war. President has taken positive steps in defensive and military aspects recently but it should be noted that the tribal and linguistic points should not color the mind of officials and the responsibility of fighting terrorism should be shouldered by those of merit. 

To sum up, the government should tackle the situation through paying close attention to political analyses and considering the targets of terrorist networks so that it can foil it. If the National Unity Government adopt an effective strategy in combating terrorism, the nation will prove that it feels no fear from warring parties – managing the public situation and preventing from horror are also significant in this regard.

Qurban Ali Ansari is the permanent writer of the Daily Afghanistan Ma. He can be reached at thedailyafghanistan@yahoo.com

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