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Taliban Spring Offensive: Too early to predict peace in Afghanistan


News Analysis |

Taliban have asked personnel of Afghan military and police to abandon the government and join them as they announced the spring offensive of the year 2019 to begin soon. The insurgent group has already initiated the Operation Al-Fath which, as per the Taliban, is the final assault to claim the victory over the occupant forces and those within the Afghan community who act on behalf of Washington, implying Kabul regime.

A Taliban statement said Al-Fath’s objective would be “eradicating occupation, cleansing our Muslim homeland from invasion and corruption, establishing an Islamic system along with defending and serving our believing fellow countrymen”. Spring offensive is one of the most known terms for those who keep a close watch on Afghan conflict as it is the time when Taliban and the government forces get involved in most bloody encounters after the lull of the winter season.

Afghan forces to face the consequences if they fail to abandon a government which is a puppet to the foreign forces.

Since most of the battles between the fighting groups take place in the mountainous terrain, due to heavy snowfall in the winter it gets very difficult to keep the fight going. For the Taliban, it is a period to reconvene, rest and revise their battle plan. On part of government forces, looking at the trend, it would be sufficing to say that a decline in the death toll due to less intense standoffs is enough to rejoice the winter season.

Read more: Taliban announce spring offensive amid Afghan peace push

Impact of U.S-Taliban Dialogue

While it may be somewhat ascertaining for the United States of America to a certain extent, the ongoing dialogue process has not brought any relief for the Kabul government, its forces or even the civilian of the country. The fighting goes on and it is Afghan forces on the front who have to take the blows. NATO has already wrapped up its Afghanistan mission and there is only 14000 U.S army personnel stationed inside Afghanistan which is way below par more than 100 thousand at one time.

Even among these 14000, U.S President Donald Trump was reported to cut the number half and call rest of the strength back home. On the other hand, Taliban are committed to driving every single foreign solider out of their country as said in the statement issued regarding Operation Al-Fath, “Even as large parts of our homeland have been freed from the enemy, yet the foreign occupying forces continue exercising military and political influence in our Islamic country.”

Read more: Afghan peace would fall apart without Taliban reintegration into society

Building Pressure on Weak Afghan Forces

So far there has not been any major development toward the post-U.S withdrawal political dimension of Afghanistan turmoil. By the look of it, the Taliban have the necessary momentum to take down the weak forces. They have the capacity to bomb Afghan soldiers within their bases and the ratio of deaths in close encounters also favors them as the ultimate winner if at any point a decisive assault does take place.

Taliban have asked personnel of Afghan military and police to abandon the government and join them as they announced the spring offensive of the year 2019 to begin soon.

Not only they have been targeting the undertrained and underequipped Afghan forces on the battleground, but the Taliban have also embroiled in the psychologically defeating the enemy. Most of the statements which they issue are focused on the Afghan forces to face the consequences if they fail to abandon a government which is a puppet to the foreign forces.

Read more: The Afghan Peace Puzzle: Where Do We Go from Here?

“A key part of Al-Fath Operations is peeling away of countrymen serving in the military ranks of army, police, and militias and being used by invaders for their own objectives,” the statement said. “On this basis we again call on troops working in enemy ranks to shun senseless hostility and futile resistance, to join the Mujahideen and gain guarantees of safeguarding life and wealth.”

Irrespective of the fact that it is desire shared by everyone, peace in Afghanistan would take more than what is being done at the moment. The United States is just looking to secure its objectives pertinent to Afghanistan and the Kabul regime has no say in the dialogue. So far it is the Taliban who have everything going into their favor and nothing to lose. A quite dangerous prospect for the opposing side in any situation.

This article was written by Akash S Muhammad and edited by Sana Mushtaq.

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