kabul
Bombings at the embassy in Kabul
Even the embassy district is no longer safe in Kabul

Afghanistan

The attack on Wednesday in Kabul shows how little grip the government has on the situation in the country. The US is about to send additional soldiers.

The heavy bombing of Wednesday morning in central Kabul, which caused not only eighty people to be killed but also a handful of embassies, underlines the powerlessness of the Afghan government. Indeed, even in the heavily guarded embassy area of the capital, its opponents can easily penetrate and sow death and destruction.

Most victims of the explosive truck near the German embassy fell – like so often in terrorist attacks – to random Afghan passers-by. Hundreds of them had to be brought to neighboring hospitals, under the blood.

But the foreign community also suffered sensitive clashes at the attack, which was not yet claimed. Two staff members of the German diplomatic representation were injured.

An Afghan guard found dead. Two staff members of the Japanese Embassy were also injured.
A BBC driver was killed. Some journalists were injured.

The one after another embassy also reported substantial material damage: after the German and French also the Turkish, Pakistani and Chinese embassies.

It is unclear whether the attackers had a particular goal or just wanted to show how vulnerable the diplomatic heart of Kabul is, despite all the walls, guards and control posts.

President Ashraf Ghani could not do much more than condemn the attack, even committed at the beginning of Ramadan. He spoke of “a crime against humanity”. But the president could not offer guarantees for a better future. The security situation in Afghanistan seems to worsen rather than improve.

60 percent in government hands

The Afghan government leader has lost since 2014, the year in which the US and their NATO allies had withdrawn their troops for the most part, steady territory. According to the latest US reviews, Ghani’s government controls only 60 percent of the districts in the country. In those areas around 65 percent of the Afghan population lives. According to some analysts, these estimates are still too optimistic.

Even in the Qara Bagh district, just 30 kilometers north of Kabul, the Taliban is getting more foot on foot, according to Tolo Afghan television station last week. Residents complained that this threatened to worsen security on site. The district was previously under the control of the government.

“The trend is clear – and not favorable”, wrote last week, Kate Clark, Afghanistan Analysts Network Assistant, a renowned think tank about Afghanistan. Clark also pointed out that since the expulsion of the Taliban by the end of 2001, so many civilians have never died as a result of the ongoing struggle as in the past year: 3.449.

The losses of the Afghan government leader in the struggle with the Taliban are also so catastrophic that US President Trump is about to send additional American soldiers to Afghanistan. A new surge, like under Trumps predecessor Obama, when the US military presence was raised to over 100,000 men, it will not be. This time there are only 3,000-5,000 soldiers, on top of the 8,400 who are still sitting there. For a massive new intervention, Americans feel nothing but they do not want the Taliban to return to Kabul.

The war with the Taliban has meanwhile something elusive. After the fall of their rule in 2001, the Taliban failed to recapture a large city, after a few days in the northern city of Kunduz. Sometimes they seem to come close to it, but as soon as the Afghan army sends reinforcements, whether or not with American support, they blow their breath. The grip of the Taliban in the countryside they control is far from firm. For example, large parts of Afghanistan have landed in a kind of dusk.

The situation is further complicated by the fact that also Islamic state has emerged in Afghanistan. Groups to be loyal to IS do not make much sense in terms of territorial terms, but they regularly commit attacks, including in Kabul. Whether they are after the spectacular attack on Wednesday in Kabul is not clear. The Taliban, in turn, immediately resigned in a statement. They say that such attacks, which random civilians become victims of, are rejected. The Taliban and IS are also in conflict with war. The Taliban consider IS as an intruder, whose arrival they do not award any price.

Translated from Source