Recent statement of the US and NATO forces commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, regarding growing power of Daesh or Islamic State is proving how the US has badly failed in the war on terror. According to him Daesh is setting up a regional base in Nangarhar and had fixed eyes on Kunar province. Campbell was not the only one with the bad news but the Pentagon in a report said that security in Afghanistan is deteriorating. This is what Afghans hear after over a decade of the US war against terrorism. They are expecting peace and stability.
However, the US officials are forgetting that Afghanistan is neither Iraq nor Syria. When the American and other NATO forces were not here, Afghanistan was still a sovereign country and will remain. We shall compare Afghanistan with Iraq and Syria to know it better. The US invaded Iraq in 2003 in search of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) which never existed. There was a stable government and no insurgency in Iraq before 2003. However, the situation on the ground is frightening now despite the fact that the US troops for there for several years and the country was not dependent on donations as it had “black-gold”. The Islamic State has emerged in Iraq under the nose of international community and has control over some oil wells.
Likewise, Syria was not threatened by militancy and terrorism a couple of years ago but the political situation changed dramatically when the West with some of their Arab allies tried to topple the government of Bashar Al Assad. The rebels were paid and equipped. Looking at failure of the rebels, some actors introduced Islamic State in Syria as a mean to achieve the ends. Both the countries were stable, had well-trained and well-equipped militaries but they failed to maintain security or at least give tough time to them.
When it comes to Afghanistan, the country suffered from over three decades of war. The country was ruled by the Taliban from 1996 to 2001. Despite having no resources in the start and less support in the present, the government forces remained successful in the fight against insurgents. Afghan security forces shouldered total security responsibilities this year after the US-led NATO ended its combat mission in December 2014 and started a new mission called “Resolute Support”. However, for the past several years they were fighting the militants in every part of the country. It is the reason that since December 2001 the Taliban and other militant groups failed to capture and keep a province or major city for long. Though, after the last ditch effort the Taliban seized Kunduz city but it was brief and most of them were eliminated. Current law and order situation in the war-hit country is not satisfactory but it is failure of the government and had nothing to do with morale of the security forces. In the past one year the leaders failed to introduce and approve a defense minister from the parliament. The country direly needs a defense minister.
But, the bottom line is that terrorist organizations like Daesh and the Taliban are not in the position to overthrow the government or capture provinces. However, the international community should stop certain countries from supporting these terrorist organizations. Without foreign support these groups could not survive. There are some major powers that are supporting Daesh in Afghanistan. It is the reason that Daesh is spreading like a disease in the country.