Of late the secret visitations of high ranking American Generals to Afghanistan has increased. Two weeks ago the American Secretary of Defense secretly visited Afghanistan and met with officials of the Kabul regime. Later it was announced that American forces will have more freedom to bombard and raid locations in Afghanistan. Similarly the mandate of top commander in Afghanistan – General Nicholson – was increased giving him more leeway to conduct his brutal business. This was met with much acclaim within the regime circles.
Last week it was reported that the American Joint Chief of Staffs – General Dunford – also secretly and unexpectedly arrived at Afghanistan and made statements to the effect that Taliban operations have reduced of late and they are not able to face Afghan and American troops in the battlefield.
Prior to this the top American commander in Afghanistan – General Nicholson – had stated that they were increasing their activities against the Taliban to compel them towards the negotiation table.
All this obviously runs counter to the truth. Did the Americans really increase their activities against the Islamic Emirate to force them towards the negotiation table?
It is mutually contradictory that on the one hand the Americans are granting their troops more freedom to attack the Taliban and reversing their drawdown while on the other hand claiming that Taliban are unable to face regime forces in the battlefield. If the Taliban were facing military defeat then the Americans would have simply continued with their planned drawdown and simply watched the war from afar.
The truth of the matter is that the Americans are highly perturbed by the rapid collapse of the regime forces in the battlefield and have concluded that unless American troops stay and increase their attacks, the Taliban will overrun large parts of the country and precipitate the collapse of the dual-headed regime.
Over the past year American hawks have been significantly disturbed by the rapidly deteriorating situation and the imminent collapse of their favorite regime. Last year the soldiers of Islamic Emirate overran Konduz city, a provincial capital. According to American admissions, the Taliban now control more territory in Afghanistan than at any point since the 2001 US-led invasion. Recent estimates put Taliban controlled or highly contested areas at 40 per cent.
It is ironic that the estimates of Taliban controlled territory has increased since the martyrdom of the esteemed Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour. All this while the American generals are claiming that the Taliban have lost their mettle since the death of their previous overall leader.
In reality the American commanders have been exasperated and confounded by their longest war. They are tired and infuriated by their failure to defeat the Taliban. Every strategy put in place has only strengthened their enemy. Their decision to target the late Amir ul momineen was driven by nothing more than lack of better ideas. They have arrived at the same conclusion as Stalin who famously said that ‘death solves everything’.
Unfortunately for the Americans, this death only made matters worse for them. So now – on the one hand they have to increase their troops levels and once again actively take part in the war long declared over, while on the other they have to rebuke criticism of their failed strategy by making naïve statements that the Taliban have somehow been miraculously defeated after the martyrdom of their late leader.