Originally published in the Washington Examiner
Last week, the Taliban carried out a series of deadly attacks throughout Afghanistan, leaving over 500 dead and dozens wounded. Although a peace offer remains on the table, the Taliban are on the move, destroying any hope for peace and reconciliation.
The Ghazni attack was an embarrassment for the Afghan government and the international community. It revealed one of the most critical security challenges for the Afghan and U.S. security forces. The Taliban have 20,000 to 40,000 active fighters and control roughly 43 percent of Afghan territory. They maintain a feared presence across the entire country, and international support for law and order against them is starting to dwindle.
One day, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a conditional cease-fire with the Taliban to honor the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. The next day, the Taliban responded with rockets while Ghani was discussing the importance of the cease-fire live on national television. Although the Taliban remained silent, the United States, Iran, Pakistan, and international community praised the cease-fire.
In July, the U.S. held direct talks with the Taliban in Qatar to facilitate a negotiated settlement with the Afghan government, despite the Taliban’s rejection of peace talks offered by former President Hamid Karzai and President Ashraf Ghani. Their willingness to sit down with the U.S. to mediate a peace agreement is suspiciously a display to keep all foreign military presence out of Afghanistan, thereby leaving the country completely vulnerable to their extremist control.
Read the full article on the website of Washington Examiner
Ahmad Shah Mohibi is founder and president of Rise to Peace and a national security expert. Mohibi is a journalist and a news commentator on TOLOnews and is a published writer as well as a George Washington University and George Mason University Alumni. Follow him on Twitter at @ahmadsmohibi