Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

Recent Attack on a Military Base Questions Afghan Government Claims to Reform Security & Defense Institutions

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Recent Attack on a Military Base Questions Afghan Government Claims to Reform Security & Defense Institutions

Conflicting reports were out after an attack on security personnel in Maidan-Shahar, capital of Maidan Wardak province. Initial reports described casualties as one hundred twenty-six people dead and scores of others injured, yet other reports mentioned the number much lower than this. Whatever the casualties might be, the attack on Monday by Taliban insurgents, using a suicide squad on a military training base in Maidan-Wardak province has been the bloodiest one ever seen in years. These grim figures and the ability of insurgents to plan and carry out sophisticated attacks of such a scale and magnitude on a sensitive Afghan military facility is unprecedented. These incidents debunk Afghan Government claims to bring reforms and improve the ability of security and defense institutions to make it a capable force to defeat an entrenched insurgency, supported by neighboring Pakistan and Iran, which continues to take immense toll on the lives of Afghan people, economy and security of the country since last eighteen years now. Most of these attacks are of nature and types that Taliban insurgents have used before, hence a historic trend is available to avert such tragedies by making defense and attack strategies to avoid repetition of such deadly incidents. It is no secret that Taliban insurgents receive training, support and mentoring from neighboring Pakistani, and recently, from Iranian intelligence agencies to weaken Afghan State by causing disruption in security, economic activities, creating chaos type of situation, making anti-state propaganda and most of all, creating insecurity among the general public in Afghanistan. By suing Taliban insurgents as their tool to carry out such high profile attacks on Afghan security and defense institutions, these countries want to score more points and ask for more in the ongoing so called peace negotiations. In the face of such big challenge, Afghan security and defense institutions and leadership should keep a watch round the clock on the types, styles and sort of attacks carried out by Taliban insurgents and other terrorist groups operating in the country. 
Taliban insurgents ‘have no political philosophy to govern a state’, hence they only want to rule by force and fear – knowingly or unknowingly – that their very presence and campaign is because of the mercy of an enemy state i.e. Pakistan. In addition, Taliban insurgents have been portrayed to be ‘the largest insurgency in the world’ by some so called researchers (!?) – some of whom have put their numbers reaching to more than one hundred and fifty-thousands! These whooping lies were published three weeks ago in mainstream regional news outlets at a time when ongoing so called peace negations were in progress in the Middle East. And the purpose of such propaganda was to serve the interests of enemy states in peace negotiations who support Taliban insurgents to pursue their hidden agenda under the cover of a maneuvered settlement to Afghan war.  History has proven it times and again that unless the wishes of Afghan people are taken into account, there will not be any kind of peace or so called negotiated settlement to Afghan problem. It is alarming to see such overt involvement of neighboring countries involvement in the bloodshed of Afghan citizens, and on the top of it, their blatant and shameless defense for their actions under the pretext of their so called ‘national interest’. 
Afghan Government should continue to unleash improvement and hone fighting, surveillance and intelligence skills of the defense and security personnel. It is worth mentioning that some serious steps are being taken by Afghan leadership to improve performance of defense and security institutions, but the enemy is far more sophisticated who have successfully embedded themselves in the body and blood of Afghans under the cover of religious sentiments to gain political mileage. Thus, Afghans are inevitably turning their guns to one another but the enemy is sitting safe in their military headquarters basking in the flow of favorite events occurring to their benefits. Yesterday’s attack might add to the myth of Taliban to claim it as a ‘big victory’ and to tout it as their so called ‘military strength’ to show the world they can strike anywhere, but in the world of military things, the real strength is to form frontlines and flex muscles in open military campaign, which will determine defeat or victory. Stealth strikes, which cowardly kill innocent civilians, cannot count toward military strength. It is one thing when we see a shameless campaign to purport Taliban as a force to reckon with because of the propaganda unleashed by our enemy states, and by use of leverage of the enemy states in important international platform, and making genuine impact and leaving lasting footprint in the political landscape of the country is another thing, which Taliban or any other terrorist groups have miserably failed to do. Therefore, Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan should stand strong and defend the country and the values this great nation has held so high and strong since centuries. We cannot get peace by begging. We have to earn it ‘by blasting the swollen fingers’ of a merciless enemy who do not believe in human value, peace and tranquility.

Mohammed Gul Sahibbzada is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at mohammed.g.sahibbzada@gmail.com

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