International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has not only faced opposition and threat from Taliban but every now and then they have faced assaults from their Afghan counterparts or juniors. There have been certain incidents when Afghan soldiers have turned violent against foreign troops and have either killed them or injured them severely.
On Saturday, May 12, 2012, two British servicemen were shot dead in southern Afghanistan by members of the Afghan National Police. The Ministry of Defense has said that the victims were providing security near a base in Lashkar Gah district of Helmand province.
One of the soldiers was from 1st Battalion Welsh Guards and the other an airman from the Royal Air Force. With these killings the number of UK military death in Afghanistan since 2001 is now around 414. The attackers included two members of ANP; and Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said that he believed one of the gunmen was killed by his Afghan police colleagues, while the second escaped.
These "green on blue" attacks are becoming very much serious and at this crucial juncture when the training of the national forces must be carried out satisfactorily and they must be trained as much as possible before the withdrawal is complete; growing gap between both the forces is really threatening.
Afghan soldiers, mostly because of Taliban influence carryout assaults against the foreign troops; and on few occasions because of their personal grievances. Such assaults are really very much worrying for certain reasons. Most importantly, it shows the gap between the foreign and national troops, which should at this point of time be lessened as much as possible.
International troops are going to withdraw from Afghanistan by 2014; before they pass the responsibility of the security to Afghan troops they must make sure that Afghan troops are properly trained and can shoulder the challenging task of security against very lethal enemies.
However, the growing gap would not be able to facilitate that and it would rather prove a hurdle in its way. Another concern that arises from such incidents is the indications that the terrorist networks have penetration even among the security forces and there are soft corners for them in their hearts.
The troops who should be fighting the terrorists themselves are carrying terroristic assaults then it would be very difficult to trust them for the security of the entire country. The transition process is under way and both the NATO troops and Afghan authorities are confident that Afghan troops would be able to shoulder the responsibility of the security of the entire nation appropriately. However, such incidents show another picture.
The peace and security situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating with each passing day. The transition period and the process of withdrawal of international forces have been adding fuel to the fire; in addition the growing mistrust between the international and national forces is adding bonus complicatedness.
The fact is that all the important places and personalities in the country are facing serious threats of insecurity as Taliban have adopted the policy of targeting the important figures and places for the last few years and they have been successful in that to a certain extent. On the other hand, new waves of terrorism and security threats of different nature are also targeting the country to a great extent.
With the urgency of withdrawal of international forces, the incapacity of Afghan forces to tackle the complex security arrangements has also raised ambiguities about the security. Afghan forces are lacking not only the capacity to arrange for and make use of the modern equipments but also the skills to outmaneuver the threatening Taliban.
One of the dominating strategies for fulfilling the security requirements of the country has been just to recruit new troops without paying much attention about their quality and their background. In order to complete the desired number of forces for the country even those who are extremely corrupt and do not have transparent past performance are also recruited, which in the long run can only prove detrimental for security. Most of them do not have the sense of responsibility and lack the sentiment of patriotism. They join the army majorly for their personal benefits.
The factors which benefit and satisfy them individually, they cling to the same and forget their duties to nation and the suffering masses. As a result of such inappropriate steps, there have been many incidents when Afghanistan has suffered to a large extent by having lost their precious processes and personalities just because of the successful assaults of the terrorists.
In the normal course of social and political life, such processes take many years to accomplish and it takes a personality many years to gain social recognition and importance in the society. But, in a state of insecurity and war such processes and personalities are ended in a jiffy that creates a vacuum in social and political scenario; it may take a long time to fill that vacuum and when a society is already suffering from myriads of social and political problems, such a scenario may prove to be fatal. Afghanistan has been one of such countries – it has paid much in order to compensate for the losses incurred by insecurity in the country.
Another important aspect of the transition period is that it must end in a stable Afghanistan. Though the security transition has been going in accordance to the programmed schedule but the political transition does not seem to be taking place. The peace process and political stability that have to be transitioned as well are nowhere to be seen.
The political structure seems to be lacking the capacity to form a political integrity in the country, and the peace process seems to be going nowhere. After the death of High Peace Council's leaders and the Council's incapacity to succeed in negotiations with Taliban, pathetic regional ties and the growing tensions in the country, the security transition and peace process are still very much ambiguous.
The vista of a peaceful Afghanistan does not seem very clear. The government and the international community while carrying on the process of security transition should also make sure that the political transition should also be kept continued and measures should be carried out before the transition period is over.