Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Suicide bomber kills 19 people in Afghanistan outside the Supreme Court.

Security forces stationed outside of the Afghan Supreme Court. AP. 

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside of an entrance to the Afghan Supreme Court in Kabul, killing 19 people and wounding 41 more. AP. The attacker targeted a side entrance where people were exiting the building. No one had taken credit for the attack, but it follows a line of attacks by the Taliban targeting the judiciary. The Taliban have targeted the courts since the execution of six militants last May, which was followed up by a suicide bombing on a bus carrying court employees and a gun attack on a courtroom. 

My Comment:
Yet another successful terror attack in Afghanistan, America's forgotten war. And we are losing that war. The fact that a suicide bomber was able to launch an attack at the most important judicial building in the country is not a good sign for Afghanistan's strength and stability. The fact that they were able to kill so many people right in downtown Kabul does not bode well. 

You would think that there would have been security by this entrance. Though it was a side entrance there isn't any reason why the Afghans couldn't have placed a guy with an AK-47 there just in case. The fact that they didn't tells me quite a bit. The first possibility is that there was a guy there, he just was paid off. I kinda doubt that happened though, because the second option is more likely. 

Much more probable is the idea that they simply didn't have a soldier or cop to spare. Afghanistan's military has been stretched beyond the breaking point. They are losing the war and are stretched so thin trying to prevent the Taliban and ISIS from taking more territory that they couldn't spare one man to guard the Supreme Court. 

I've mentioned this problem before during other attacks in Afghanistan. They have had trouble with terror attacks in their capital before and there seems to be very little they can do to stop it. They just don't have the security forces anymore. They have been bleed dry due to massive casualties in the war against the Taliban and they are slowly losing territory and strength. 

It's a minor miracle that the Afghan government stands at all. When Barack Obama withdrew combat troops, he took the backbone out of the fight against the Taliban. The Afghan Army has proven that they can't stand on their own. Though we have backed them up with heavy air strikes and drone attacks, they still haven't been able to hold on to territory without heavy casualties. 

The question now is what do we do about it now that we have a different president? I'm conflicted on it myself. The war in Afghanistan is America's longest war by far. 16 years and 2300 troops killed and scores more wounded seems like quite enough, especially since we have accomplished almost nothing. Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan has largely been destroyed but the Taliban still rules much of the country and ISIS has filled the vacuum that al-Qaeda left. At some point we have to ask ourselves if continuing to support the war is even worth it. 

The problem is that if we let the Afghan government fall there is a great chance that they will do what they did before the war and become a sponsor of terrorism again. Though al-Qaeda is largely gone, it is possible that they could do the same thing with ISIS or other groups that they did with al-Qaeda and 9/11. That is not an outcome that anyone should want. The last thing we need is another haven for ISIS and another state that supports international terrorism. 

Unfortunately, nobody is talking about Afghanistan. Not the president, not Congress, and certainly not the media. Trump is focused on domestic and other foreign policy issues and I can't think of a single time he has talked about Afghanistan. The media has certainly not done their job either since other than a very few articles they haven't talked about Afghan policy either. Sure, terror attacks like this make the news, but when it comes to what we should do about the Afghan problem, they have been silent. 

It makes sense that the issue has been ignored. The war is a huge headache for Trump who has enough problems as it is. And the media does not want to point out that Afghanistan went down the tubes during the presidency of their messiah, Barack Obama. Those things are not going to change soon, so the critical conversation we should be having about Afghanistan will not happen. Not until it is too late... 

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