Afghanistan has proved to be a quagmire for NATO-led coalition forces, as the troops are not only attacked by terrorists linked to different outfits, but also by Afghan police officials. If statistics are anything to go by, then attacks by Afghan forces have claimed around 40 lives of NATO troops so far this year. It may be pertinent to mention here that these casualties are apart from other attacks carried out by terrorists linked to al-Qaeda and other networks.
It is appalling that attacks against NATO-led coalition forces have increased in the last couple of months. On Sunday, an Afghan in police uniform shot a NATO soldier dead in southern Afghanistan. International Assistance Security Force (ISAF) confirmed the incident, saying that an ISAF member died when an Afghan wearing a police uniform turned his gun on the service member and shot him dead.
According to ISAF officials, investigation into the incident is underway to ascertain further facts behind the killing. However, the nationality of the ill-fated soldier was not revealed till filing of this report.
The United States and its allies are concerned about the rising number of such attacks against NATO troops and mulling a strategy to avoid such assaults at least from their Afghan colleagues. The intensity of such attacks can be gauged from the fact that the latest death has mounted the toll among NATO troops to 10 in less than two weeks.
Trust between NATO-led coalition troops and Afghan forces they work with is sharply eroding owing to these attacks. There is need to take immediate measures to bridge the gulf, otherwise it may take to another chaos in the violence-wracked Afghanistan. A number of such attacks have also been claimed by the Taliban, as they claim to have infiltrated ranks of Afghan forces. However, most of them are also carried out by Afghan forces largely owing to cultural differences and animosity they (Afghan troops) harbor against foreign troops.
Whatever is the reason behind these attacks, there is need to devise a cogent strategy to avoid recurrence of such incidents. It has been eleven years since the US invaded Afghanistan to eliminate terrorists based in the country. After the incident of 9/11, the US waged a full-fledged war against al-Qaeda and its other affiliates to make the world a peaceful place to live in, but the vision has yet to come true.
The US plans to pull out troops from Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and before the withdrawal, wants to strengthen Afghan security forces so that they can fight against terrorists on their own. Afghan forces are also being provided with sophisticated weapons and imparted training on modern lines.
We hope Afghanistan will soon become a better place to live after the departure of the NATO-led coalition forces.