News Analysis: President Trump's strategy on Afghanistan fails as militant groups continue to inflict nation

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-21 20:30:51|Editor: xuxin
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by Abdul Haleem

KABUL, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- Exactly one year ago on August 21, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his much awaited new strategy on Afghanistan and South Asia aimed at winning the so-called war on terror, containing militancy and ensuring lasting peace in Afghanistan.

The new approach covering the militancy-riddled Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and the central Asian states with the objective to find amicable solution to the Afghan lingering crisis and bring about viable peace in the war-torn country, according to Afghan observers, has virtually failed as militancy has been continuing like yester years.

The militants fired several rockets on the fortified Afghan capital Kabul city on Tuesday, which is the first anniversary of Trump's strategy on Afghanistan.

The armed militants took position in a building not far from the Presidential Palace and fired rockets on important areas including the well-protected diplomatic enclave, while the faithful Afghans were offering Eid-ul-Adha prayers amid tight security.

"Increasing militancy in Afghanistan clearly speaks of the failure of President Trump's strategy," political analyst and university professor Abdul Qahar Sarwari observed in talks with Xinhua.

"Today's attack in Kabul and firing rockets on parts of the city displays the U.S. new policy's failure in Afghanistan and instead demonstrates the strength of insurgent groups that they can target any place at anytime if they want to do," the analyst maintained.

Trump in his new strategy, unveiled on Aug. 21, 2017, vowed to increase the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and win the costly and longest war in America's history.

Although the strength of the U.S.-led coalition forces in Afghanistan is unknown, media reports suggest the presence of around 14,000-strong troops with the majority of them Americans stationed in the war-battered country to train and advise the Afghan forces in battle against militants.

Despite the U.S. new strategy, the militancy has gotten momentum and different groups including Taliban and the hardliner Islamic State (IS) outfit have continued to maneuver in the war-torn country.

A report released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) here in July stated that the increasing militancy and conflicts had claimed the lives of 1,692 civilians and injured 3,430 others from 1 January to 30 June 2018.

In addition to the civilian casualties, countless Afghan security personnel and militants have also been killed.

Tuesday's rocket attacks on Kabul city took place just after Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani announced a three-month conditional ceasefire starting on Monday, a day before Eid-ul-Adha, the Muslims' largest annual religious festival observed on Tuesday Aug. 21, urging the Taliban outfit to follow suit.

"Overlooking the government's offer for ceasefire and firing rockets on Kabul city by militants on Eid-ul-Adha festival speaks of utter failure of Washington's new strategy on Afghanistan," another analyst Nazari Pariani told Xinhua.