Taliban are no longer using the hit and run tactics

Taliban are no longer using the hit and run tactics

Source: Afghan Zalmai Analyzing Network (AZAN)

Date: Tuesday, October 23, 2012

By: Afghan Zalmai (Seyal- a political analyst)

Following the NATO Lisbon summit in 2010, both International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and the Afghan government agreed on a plan to transfer the security responsibilities from ISAF to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) so that the Afghans become in charge of their own security by the end of 2014. The process which is known to us “the transition” has begun in order to transfer the security responsibilities from ISAF to their Afghan counter parts.

Even though, ISAF, NATO and the Afghan government are committed to make the transition a success but do we really think that NATO’s plan is working in Afghanistan? Do we really think the situation became stable in areas where security responsibilities have transferred from ISAF to ANSF? Are we confident that the Afghan National Security Forces would be able to provide a secure environment for voters to come out and cast their votes in the forthcoming election? On the other side how about the increase in intensity and tactics of insurgence attacks? Increase in the numbers of Taliban activities who are threatening and intimidating the normal life. Is civil war likely to happen after ISAF fully withdrawn? How about the economy and state building? Service delivery and more are the main concerns that mostly come in any ordinary Afghans mind and these are realistic and valid concerns.

Contrary to what Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO Secretary General has described in an article published on 22 October 12 in Telegraph UK. I have just returned from Afghanistan, having seen real progress which too rarely receives the attention it merits “NATO secretary General Rasmussen said this”.

I admit that ANSF led greater percentage of operation independently with little or no support from their international counterparts since the beginning of 2012; it is also true the number of civilian casualties reduced a lot. Provinces and areas which are fully or partially transitioned, is seeing a relative improvement in the security situation where less security related incidents being reported. However, things might change in long run unless adequate training, equipment and incentives are provided to Afghan National Security Forces. We should not cheer-up! Because new trends were observed in areas which are transitioned in the east and southeast of the country where insurgents have carried out large scale attacks against the ANSF. It was observed that the insurgents have increased the scale and intensity of their attacks since NATO’s decision to reduce the level of their joint operations with ANSF. As a result, large numbers of fighters are being used in the attacks that last for many hours au lieu of the small gorilla type that last for only few minutes. This largely attributed to the fact that the insurgents are no longer using the hit and run tactics which was mainly due fears of airstrikes by international military forces. This, in turn, is raising concerns over the capability of ANSF especially following the transitioning of the relatively remote insecure areas in the country.

It was expected that following the transfer of responsibilities to ANSF, the security situation will improve enduringly but opposite to what was anticipated the overall security situation has start to deteriorate badly. In two provinces located in the east of the country “Laghman and Nouristan” where Taliban have established mobile checkpoints, they have set-backed those who were part of the public uprising against them, government accessibility has been limited, free movements of numbers of illegal armed groups got increased and the security belt is now only limited to the provincial capitals. Local communities by now realized the importance of ISAF presence and regret their contribution in maintaining joint security and bringing developments.

Analysts and representatives of civil society groups in the east of the country suggest that the decision to hand over security responsibilities to ANSF by ISAF was still an early decision because quantity of ANSF is not adequate, they are not well equipped, additional trainings to ANSF were suspended due to insider attacks and serious political issues are laying ahead of which the forthcoming presidential election would be the most difficult and the ANSF won’t be fully capable to provide polling centers security; this in turn will be evident with a very low turn-out of voters which will surely undermine the legitimacy of the forthcoming election both in terms of credibility and transparency as well as in terms of the voters quorum and expected frauds.

In order to maintain the relative achievements which both the international community and the government of Afghanistan have gained since the collapse of the Taliban regime the following points has to be taken seriously so that longer stability is ensured and people can live without fear and anxiety. These includes but are not limited to continues support to train, equip and grow the number of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), adopt a mechanism to do proper vetting and screening for those who are going to be recruited as the Afghan National Police (ANP), Afghan National Army (ANA) or Afghan National Border Police (ANBP) or the Afghan Local Police (ALP) because insider attacks are serious concern and needs to be address as quickly as possible. In addition to this, institution building, capacity of the staff, fighting corruption, accountability, holding and ensuring transparent and credible elections are all essential for good governance which needs to be handle collectively and with care.



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