The Situation on the Battlefield Must Change
Government leaders have appointed new ‘caretakers’ (acting ministers) for the Ministries of Defense and Interior. According to government sources, Bismillah Mohammadi has been appointed acting Minister of Defense and Abdul Sattar Mirzkwal has been appointed as Acting Minister of Interior. Ahmad Zia Siraj’s seat in the National Directorate of Security is to be handed over to another person. Masood Andarabi and Yasin Zia are possible candidates for the position.
These changes are taking place in the leadership of the country’s defense and security institutions at a time when the war is escalating with each passing day. The Taliban managed to seize control of dozens of districts from the government this spring. The group’s rapid advance, however, has caused public concern and sharply raised criticism of the government.
Changes in the leadership of the country’s defense and security institutions were a necessity given the severity of the war. No further action was expected from the government, given the Taliban’s rapid advance and growing public concern about the situation. Now that these changes have been implemented, the situation is expected to change slightly in favor of the government and the people, and at least the war will be managed.
The Taliban have made significant progress this spring, although they have not officially announced their spring offensive. The successive fall of districts and government checkpoints shows that the war was initiated by the Taliban. Although the government claims to be in a defensive position, the reality of the battlefield proves otherwise. Field observations show that the government has almost lost control of the war and has shown little initiative other than defending itself against Taliban attacks.
The government must take the initiative of war and manage the situation. For the government to survive, defending itself against Taliban offensive attacks alone is not enough. This group must be suppressed. The advance of the Taliban, however, is possible in the absence of foreign forces but this progress must be curbed. Currently, the fall of districts to the Taliban is rapid. Changing this situation is a serious need that should be on the agenda of the country’s defense and security institutions.
However, one cannot expect a miracle from the new heads of the Ministries of Defense and Interior, it is hoped that they will be able to manage the war effectively. In order for new caretakers to be able to do something, they need to be introduced to the House of Representatives for a vote of confidence. Trying to keep them in charge of the Ministries of Defense and Interior is not in the best interest.
Afghanistan is in a state of emergency. This aspect must be understood by all sides and they must try to get the country through this situation.
War is unfortunately the worst option the government and the Taliban have chosen so far. As a result, negotiations between the two sides have stalled. The calls made to resume the talks so far have not had the desired result. It seems that the decision of the government and the Taliban is to determine the future of Afghanistan on the battlefield, not at the negotiating table.
In the current situation, the most important issue is to address the people’s worries about the future, as well as to strengthen the ranks of government forces and restore confidence in these forces. The recent collapse of districts and checkpoints is thought to have had a negative effect on the morale and confidence of government forces. People are also worried about the future when they see this situation. The heads of the Ministries of Defense and Interior must overcome this situation by using all possible means.
In addition, the managerial weaknesses of the war must be identified and addressed. When the government, with hundreds of thousands of armed forces and the support of the international community and the people of Afghanistan, is forced to retreat, there must be gaps in the management of the war. If these gaps are not identified and addressed, the current worrying situation will be difficult to overcome.
The people must also mobilize in defense of the government and the struggles of its affiliated forces. Unfortunately, the current gap between the people and the government is very deep. The reason was the abuse of public authority and property by the authorities. Hence, the government needs to reduce its distance from the people alongside the war with the Taliban and not allow this rift to become too serious. It is unfortunate that local elders and leaders are reportedly mediating to hand over government forces and their checkpoints to the Taliban. This is a sign of the deep rift between the people and the government and a warning sign for the decline and fall of the government. This must also be taken seriously.