The Death toll in Kabul Adds America’s Challenges to winning the War in Afghanistan

US Government, War in Afghanistan

The Afghani citizenry had just spent a day of the morning after an ambulance attack led to the killing of 103 people when another attack was perpetrated by fighters targeting a military base in the Kabul capital. The previous attack was orchestrated when fighters stacked an ambulance with explosives and drove it into a highly populated area. The two attacks have underlined the challenges that the US government under the leadership of President Trump is currently facing as the security commitment by Washington to win the war in Afghanistan remains uncertain. In just under 30 days, terrorist organizations have targeted the Shia cultural center and the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul as well as the Save the Children aid agency sponsored by the British government.

12 months ago just hours after he was sworn into the office, the commander-in-chief president Trump spoke to US soldiers fighting the Afghan war which has been going on for the last 16 years since October of 2001. Trump told the soldiers that he would be with them every step of the way and that they were going to pull in the war together. In a statement from the White House, President Trump repeated the same sentiments. General Joseph Votel who is the commander of the US central command in the region and who was in Afghanistan when the attack happened has reiterated that such acts of terror cannot and will not shake the US commitment to winning the war in Afghanistan. Gen. Votel said that victory is not only imminent but possible.

However, the Taliban regime has become even stronger in the past year in many provinces in the war-ravaged country. According to an official assessment by the United States government, the Taliban now controls almost half of the nation with 40% of the territories being contented or under their control. The emergence of the Taliban as a force to reckon with has partly been contributed to the deteriorating relationship between Pakistan and the United States. Islamabad is a critical player in winning the war as it has in the past provided logistical and intelligence support to the military operations that are conducted in the mountains of Afghanistan.

Another main reason that contributes to the instability in Kabul is that the Afghan central government is sharply divided and weak hence does not have the capacity nor the resources to combat the rising insurgency in the country. In 2017 alone, over 7,000 service members from the Afghan security forces have lost their lives while combating the Taliban.

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