This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Massive terror explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, the largest in years
- Afghans blame Pakistan and the Taliban-linked Haqqani network
- Afghanistan situation deteriorates, as US considers sending more troops
Massive terror explosion in Kabul, Afghanistan, the largest in years
Aerial view of Kabul, Afghanistan (UN)
The biggest terrorist explosion in Afghanistan in years took place in the capital city Kabul during the morning rush hour on Wednesday, killing 90 people and injuring almost 400. The explosion was caused by a powerful truck bomb in a large truck designed to carry sewage. Over 50 vehicles were either destroyed or damaged in the attack. Buildings hundreds of meters away from the explosion were damaged or had windows blown out.
According to one witness, “I have been to many attacks, taken wounded people out of many blast sites, but I can say I have never seen such a horrible attack as I saw this morning.”
The area that was attacked is supposed to be the safest in Kabul, with foreign embassies and government offices protected by dozens of 10ft-high blast walls guarded by police and national security forces. Every vehicle entering the area is supposed to be checked for explosives, leading some analysts to believe that the perpetrators had the cooperation of someone in the security forces.
However, a statement from the Nato forces says that Afghan security forces had prevented the vehicle from entering the heavily protected Green Zone that houses many foreign embassies, suggesting it may not have reached its intended target. Sky News (Australia) and Tolo News (Afghanistan)
- Multiple terror bombings cross Pakistan and Afghanistan (13-Nov-2016)
- Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms (12-Apr-2016)
Afghans blame Pakistan and the Taliban-linked Haqqani network
The Taliban has conducted numerous terror attacks in Kabul, but they claim that they didn’t perpetrate this one. According to a statement issued by the Taliban:
[The Taliban] condemn every explosion and attack carried out against civilians, or in which civilians are harmed…
[Whoever] carried out this attack and for what purpose, that will become clear at a later stage.
This statement from the Taliban is laughable. The Taliban regularly attacks innocent civilians, including women and children, and they particularly target ethnic Hazaras and Shia Muslims in general. In fact, the vast major of people killed by the Taliban are innocent civilians. However, it is bad publicity for the Taliban to kill innocent civilians, so they’re reluctant to take credit for it for PR reasons.
The so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) did claim credit for the attack, but ISIS has developed a public relations gimmick of taking credit for any terror attack, whether they’ve been involved or not.
The Afghan intelligence agency NDS blamed the Haqqani network for the attack. The Haqqani Network is linked to the Taliban, and is widely believed to be funded and supported by Pakistan security services, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
According to an aide to Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani, “Today’s enormous explosion absolutely was a Haqqani Network type attack. ISIS [in Afghanistan] cannot carry out such a large and sophisticated attack.” Sky News (Australia) and AFP and Daily Beast
- U.S. decision on Haqqani Network will affect Pakistan relations (02-Sep-2012)
- Terrorist bombing of Kabul hotel shows power of Haqqani network (30-Jun-2011)
- ISIS claims responsibility for attack on Shia Hazaras in Kabul Afghanistan (24-Jul-2016)
Afghanistan situation deteriorates, as U.S. considers sending more troops
Afghan security forces control only about 57 percent of the country’s territory. Around 2.5 million people live in areas controlled by the Taliban and nine million more live in contested areas. According to analysts, the Taliban is now stronger than at any point since the 2001 Afghan war.
U.S. General John Nicholson described the current military situation in Afghanistan against the Taliban as a “stalemate,” and he has requested several thousand additional US troops to enhance the 8,400 American and 5,000 coalition forces already present.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the security situation in Afghanistan will only get worse. As I’ve explained many times, Afghanistan’s last generational crisis war was the extremely bloody civil war of 1991-96 was fought between the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan versus the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban are from the Pashtun ethnic group, which extends into Pakistan, and so the Taliban Pashtuns in Pakistan cooperate with the Taliban Pashtuns in Afghanistan to conduct terror attacks.
When America attacked Afghanistan in 2001, the Afghan Taliban collapsed quickly, because Afghanistan was in a generational Recovery era, with the traumatized survivors of the bloody 1991-96 civil war still recovering, with little will to fight. However, since the 2001 war, younger generations of Pashtuns have come of age, and they’re more willing to conduct attacks against the government, and against their parents’ former enemies in the Northern Alliance.
So it really does not matter at all how many troops the US or Nato send to Afghanistan. The security situation is going to continue to deteriorate, and the Taliban and ISIS will continue to control provinces of Afghanistan, at the expense of the government in Kabul. Deutsche Welle (25-May) and ABC News and Russia Today and Deutsche Welle
- Trump considers new troop surge and strategy change in Afghanistan war (10-May-2017)
- CENTCOM commander: Afghanistan ‘stalemate’ requires ‘thousands’ more US troops (11-Mar-2017)
- Analysis of Afghanistan vs Iraq wars (26-Sep-2009)
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Kabul, Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, Haqqani Network, Taliban, Pakistan, Inter-Services Intelligence, ISI, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, John Nicholson, Northern Alliance, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks
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