The Taliban were responsible for two November 2005 suicide attacks in Kabul that targeted NATO soldiers: nine people died in the incidents.
KABUL, AFGHANISTAN – When will we learn that there is no ‘military’ solution to terrorism?
If you are following events in Afghanistan these days you should be aware of two major developments. One is marginally positive while the other is very negative.
Let’s start with the positive, shall we, as that nation has had little good said or written about it for a very, very long time. The US has been engaged in peace talks with Afghan parties for some months now, all with a view to negotiating a withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, where they have been for almost two decades (the US sent tens of thousands of troops in the aftermath of 9/11 to find and punish Al Qaeda and its leader, Usama bin Laden, who were behind the attacks in New York and Washington).
Peace talks are always a good move, right? Yes, usually, but these come with a hitch. The main Afghan party to the discussion is none other than the Taliban, a terrorist group that has been killing and maiming fellow Afghans since 1994. To say that the US would leave the keys to the shop in the hands of this bunch beggars disbelief.
Now for the bad news. These same Taliban, and other terrorists such as an Islamic State (ISIS) affiliate called IS in Khorasan, have been upping their violent extremist tempo over the past few months. Afghanistan has been beset by enough death and destruction for two generations already, so to say it is getting worse is really saying something.
In one way, the Taliban are doing what many analogous forces do when country A invades country B. Locals, sometimes a rag-tag crew, rise up to chase the foreigners out. Military occupation is a surefire recipe for more violence, including that of the terrorist ilk, not less. History is replete with examples (AQ arose after the Soviets decided to go to Afghanistan to prop up a puppet government, remember?). The bottom line is that military might does not defeat terrorism: it usually breeds it. This was the point behind my fourth book – An End to the War on Terrorism.
Today’s featured attack, 15 years ago, is a good example.
Two Taliban suicide bombers struck at NATO forces in Kabul – known as the International Security Assistance Force or ISAF – killing one German and eight Afghan soldiers.
As someone who tries to follow events in Afghanistan that are tied to security I can tell you that I share news stories on terrorist attacks every day of every week of every month. Every day. That should tell you enough about the situation in that nation. It is not good and shows no signs of improving. US military presence or not, Afghanistan is in for a lot more suffering.
- Eric Schmitt: Covering the terrorism beat for the New York Times - December 1, 2020
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- December 1, 2017: Terrorist shooting in Pakistan - December 1, 2020