News / Asia

Violence, Political Uncertainty Plague Post-Jirga Afghanistan

Sean Maroney

Since Afghan President Hamid Karzai's much anticipated peace assembly earlier this month, the Taliban has launched a series of high profile attacks.  Meanwhile, the top U.S. commander in the country, General Stanley McChrystal says the fight against the Taliban will take longer than anticipated in the south.  

Analysts say several high profile attacks this week show the Taliban will not back down as coalition and Afghan forces prepare for a major offensive to drive them from their southern stronghold in Kandahar province.

Afghan authorities are blaming the Taliban for an attack on a wedding late Wednesday in southern Afghanistan, which killed nearly 40 people.  The Taliban deny responsibility, but the groom had links to anti-Taliban groups.  Also, Monday was the deadliest day so far this year for international forces in Afghanistan. Ten NATO soldiers, seven of them Americans, were killed in separate attacks in the eastern and southern parts of the country that day.

With this new violence, the director of Afghanistan's Center for Research and Policy Studies, Haroun Mir, said that he believes next month's scheduled international conference in Kabul might not happen.

"I don't think that it would be appropriate for a foreign minister from Europe to attend [the] Kabul conference when we know that there's a huge risk, tremendous risk, that they could be eliminated by one rocket attack," said Haroun Mir. "All we need is one rocket attack, and all these ministers are flying back to their homes and that would be a big humiliation."

Even the top U.S. commander in the country, General Stanley McChrystal, said this week he expects the Kandahar offensive to take longer than anticipated.

"There are going to be tough days ahead," said General McChrystal. "Violence is up, and I think violence will continue to rise, particularly over the summer months.  It is necessary that we roll back Taliban influence as we move toward increased security in the future."

But McChrystal says that despite the violence, he thinks the perception of the insurgent's momentum is reversing.

It's this reversal in momentum that President Karzai and analysts hope will convince the Taliban to sit down for peace talks.

But Amrullah Saleh has a different idea.  Saleh is the former head of the Afghan National Directorate of Security.  He resigned from the post, along with the country's interior minister, following the insurgent attack on the peace jirga earlier this month.

Saleh criticized Mr. Karzai for wanting to reconcile with the Taliban.

"I want a dignified peace, a peace which will not reverse our achievements, a peace which will not undermine our constitution, a peace which will not allow a small terrorist group to dominate the political scene in Afghanistan," said Amrullah Saleh. "Therefore, I am in favor of peace but I am against bowing to the Taliban."

He also has said that he believes President Karzai is taking a softer approach toward Pakistan in a bid to negotiate with the Taliban.  Saleh referred to Pakistan as Afghanistan's enemy number one for its alleged support of the Taliban.

Ayaz Wazir is Pakistan's former ambassador to Kabul.  He said that he disagrees with Saleh, and he wonders about his motives for making these statements now, especially after his resignation.

"Had Pakistan been the 'enemy number one', then why was the intelligence chief not saying so before?  Now when he is resigned, he is accusing [a] neighboring country," said Ayaz Wazir.

In another blow to the coalition, Britain's newly elected government says it will not pledge more troops, despite being one of America's biggest partners in the country since the toppling of the Taliban-led government in 2001.

Haroun Mir with Afghanistan's Center for Research and Policy Studies says all these factors teach the Taliban an important lesson.

"You know with one [or] three rocket fires, they were able to get the resignations of two important ministers, and now the NATO  countries have lost their will," he said.

He also says it seems unlikely that the Taliban will want to negotiate if they believe they have the upper hand against a coalition in flux and what Mir calls a dysfunctional government.

You May Like

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid