Baffled by growing security pressure, military strategists in the United States have decided to deploy 300 Marines to the volatile southern Helmand province. Increase in anti-state activities and expansion of Daesh, also known as the Islamic State, is knocking over Afghan and American policymakers. There is no end in sight to Afghan war. For the world’s largest military alliance, NATO, it is a mission but for Afghan people it is a war that is burning whatever is in the way—from properties to lives and from resources to rights. As the war is gaining length, it would continue to build pressure on Kabul and Washington.
The pressure would force the strategists to review the security policies and plug the loopholes that are allowing the militants to carry out subversive activities. Without adjustment no foreign and internal policy can succeed. To err is human. But wastage of precious time as well as repeated mistakes that cost lives of innocent people and consume huge resources are something that provide edge to the anti-peace and extremists forces. Time is of the essence. All wars are about clock. To defeat the insurgents and terrorists, backed by foreign countries, the US and Afghan officials together should beat the clock first.
Decision of the US authorities to deploy the Marines is seemed to be a step to beat the clock by not allowing the Taliban to establish bases in Helmand and from there launch attacks. It will prove a good security maneuver. It will be a major blow to the Afghan insurgency especially when the Taliban are working on the next spring offensive. But it is very clear at this point that those who beat the time will be one step ahead, and those who would employ new tactics will add achievements to portfolio.
Since the Taliban with affiliates are planning to establish bases in southern provinces, especially Helmand, the deployment of Marines would help Afghan security forces to nip the evil in the bud. The US Marines would be able to help Afghan forces on ground to encircle the militants from different directions. Chances of the hit and run would be very slim. Thus, providing leverage to Afghan security forces over the Taliban. Moreover, the special operations will gain a momentum before beginning of the warm season—helping the government forces to have lead over armed opponents. Therefore, the recent move is welcoming and would reduce security pressure on the unity government this year when it is preparing to hold the parliamentary elections to restore trust of disappointed voters over the nascent democracy.