Although there has been more of a focus on ISIS, the Taliban is still very much a threat in Afghanistan.
There have been attacks in Kabul, the country’s capital, on the last two consecutive weekends, killing hundreds.
Over the weekend, a car bomb in a fake ambulance blew up outside a hospital, killing at least 103 people.
Just a week before, a handful of Taliban terrorists armed with guns murdered over 30 people, including Americans, after storming Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel. Parts of the building caught fire and over 150 guests fleed the traumatic scene.
“It’s similar to what happened during the Obama surge, that instead of confronting NATO forces on the battlefield they opted for these low-cost terrorist attacks, and they have been very effective,” said Haroun Mir, a political analyst in Kabul to the LA Times. “Time is with the Taliban. They know that Trump is in office for four years, and two years from now there will be another election and another political debate about whether the U.S. should stay in Afghanistan or not. These kinds of attacks show their strength while avoiding confrontation — that’s their strategy to overcome the U.S. surge.”
President Donald Trump has instructed that the U.S. Afghan military double its troop level to 16,000, but the fighting season with the Taliban is set to begin in spring.
Trump has recently also applied tremendous pressure on Pakistan, a country that has been long suspected of aiding the Taliban.
“That runs contrary to neighboring Pakistan’s position, which says it has in recent times intensified its push for talks with the Taliban leadership. But disregarding Islamabad’s offer, the Trump administration has accused Pakistan of playing a “double game” that foremost includes giving refuge to the Haqqani network — the wealthy and well-connected Afghan Taliban who migrated to Pakistan 40 years ago,” writes VOA News. “A New Year tweet by Trump accused Pakistan of “lies and deceit” in taking U.S. money while harboring the Taliban, which makes ferocious attacks on NATO forces in Afghanistan. Frustrated officials in Washington have stopped $255 million in aid to Islamabad.”
The U.S. military has been focusing on covert attacks.
On January 24, the U.S. unilaterally hit the Orakzai agency’s Dapa Mamozai village with a drone attack that killed the Haqqani network commander Tariq Mahmood, who had led multiple attacks on Afghan forces and U.S. soldiers stationed in Afghanistan.
The Taliban has allegedly told Pakistan that they just want the U.S. military presence out of Afghanistan.
“Once the U.S. is out, then the Taliban, without stating it, will go — whether it’s a matter of months or a year — to scoring a military victory,” said Marvin Weinbaum, a former official in the State Department to VOA News.
But, Trump has been it clear that the U.S. does not want to talk to the Taliban.
“Innocent people are being killed left and right, bombing in the middle of children, in the middle of families, bombing, killing all over Afghanistan,” said Trump on Monday. “So we don’t want to talk with the Taliban. There may be a time, but it’s going to be a long time.”
The Taliban wants the U.S. to leave for good reason – to gain more control.
“Remote parts of Afghanistan have long been outside government control. The Taliban maintains “shadow governors” in many outlying areas, where they collect taxes and settle disputes. As of October the government controlled or held sway over only 57% of the country’s 407 districts, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, a U.S. watchdog,” writes the LA Times.
But, again, the Taliban isn’t the only terrorist group battling it out for more of the control. ISIS and the Taliban are competing by both ramping up attacks this month.
Early Monday, at least 11 Afghan soldiers were killed and 16 injured when suicide bombers attacked the military school. Marshal Fahim National Defense University. ISIS claimed responsibility for this attack.
Author’s note: These terrorist groups are never going to stop with these attacks, it’s entrenched in the brutal culture. They will never play nice with the U.S. or other democratic governments, so they have to be wiped out.
Editor’s note: Our sources on the ground tell us that as things stand, the Taliban could very well succeed. Things are not as they seem. The poppy growers control the pursestrings and are the Taliban’s puppeteers. They are protecting a business that is likely close to $80B per year world wide. Here is some dialog from our expert:
“The GCC (author’s note: see below…) is the funded madrassas have brainwashed way too many people since (a) Pakistan was formed during the British relinquishment of India, and (b) since the Wahabist GCCs funded the mujahadeen against the USSR and the Shi’a Revolution Of 1979 simultaneously.
“It’s all about opium and Salafism. And same in the Bekaa Valley. They grow weed and opium and trade it with the Latin American Cartels.
“The GCC people are offering the Pashtun Warlords better access to the world markets for their Afghan opium. That is what the Arabs in Nangarhar Province are offering as a strategic advantage. They use their legit shipping companies to do that out of Karachi.
“The Iranian Shi’a smuggle Opium and weed out of the Bekaa as the article I posted a few weeks ago from the daily caller explained. That article is pretty accurate. The writer of that article never went there, so the article lacks an element of familiarity.”
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries—Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. The GCC was established in Riyadh, Saudia Arabia, in May 1981