The recent news coming from Afghanistan indicates a new turnout. However these developments are not in the form of negotiations and the ultimate peace deal that have been awaited for a long time. On the contrary, these are the developments that will deepen the deadlock.
The months of the spring have been a period during when violence escalated and conflicts spread across the country. During the “Spring Operation” the Taliban initiated, the Afghani security forces’ operations and the US airstrikes, thousands of people lost their lives.
The Taliban continued to attack and started to regain the control of the regions it had lost one by one. The 15-years-old-war re-entered into a bloody process.
Another striking development was the killing of Mullah Mansour, the Taliban leader, in a drone strike. In his statement on the death of the Taliban leader, US President Barack Obama said: “Today marks an important milestone in our longstanding effort to bring peace and prosperity to Afghanistan.”
Obama and people like him who believe that killing the leaders of radical groups is an effective method to combat them certainly err. The recent history abounds with tens of murdered radical organisation leaders. Led by their new chiefs, these organisations continue to shed blood.
Indeed nothing has changed in Afghanistan. Following the death of Mullah Mansour, the Taliban lost no time to choose Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada as its new leader. No fragmentation or division occurred within the organisation. Neither did they feel desperate nor choose to silence their weapons.
On the contrary, under Akhundzada’s leadership, the Taliban announced that they would not agree to peace talks and that they would take Mullah Mansour’s revenge. With their wide scale attacks, they showed their threats did not remain unfulfilled.
The problem of Afghanistan is surely not limited to the Taliban. The Islamic State (IS) group in Afghanistan and some other radical groups are getting stronger in various regions. Furthermore, their financial resources, their weapons and methods are even more than Taliban. These are almost the alarm signals of the scary future awaiting the country.
No doubt, the innocent Afghani people, who, due to war and instability, become poorer every day, suffer a lot. Unemployment and economic problems make their lives even worse. A great majority of them cannot meet their fundamental needs.
Today 1.2mn Afghan people are internally displaced while millions of them try to survive in other countries as refugees. Afghanistan’s National Unity Government, which was established with great hopes around two years ago, has difficulty in standing.
President Ashraf Ghani is struggling to fulfil his promises about transformation, peace and welfare reforms. As long as dissension and conflicts among groups making up the Afghan government persist, success will be hard to achieve, however.
The Western states and the Islamic countries seem to consider misery in Afghanistan as an internal problem; they avoid providing support despite the means in their possession.
As opposed to popular belief, advanced weapons, smart bombs and foreign soldiers cannot help a country. They only complicate the current situation. This also holds true for Afghanistan. Especially the US and Pakistan, the parties that try to initiate the peace process, and Russia and Iran, who recently attempt to be included in the process, must primarily consider this point.
What would happen if some of these countries insist on their past practices and continue to carry out their military operations, drone strikes and shelling? We can answer this question by looking at the recent history of Afghanistan: Maybe a temporary success can be attained by military struggle but it never delivers a definite result.
Afghanistan is an introvert society. In time, a model of society, which merged bigoted mindset with the tribal culture, emerged in the country. Many Afghans consider this ideology as a part of their identity and fiercely try to protect it. For this reason, the models imposed by foreign countries under the guise of “modernisation” have backlashed.
What will extirpate this rigid structure from the Afghan society would be indoctrination and support they would receive from within or some sincere Muslims they really trust.
Since 1979 the Afghan society lost 2.5mn people due to internal conflicts. Considering that the Afghan population is 30mn today, each house, each family, each neighbourhood lost a person to these wars. Therefore it is impossible to frighten the Afghan people with war and death. The Afghan society went down the spiral of poverty and economic downturn due to these wars.
Meanwhile during this period, Afghanistan became one of the biggest opium producers of the world. For instance according to the 2007 data, 97% of the opium production - medical purposes excluded - is produced in Afghanistan. The country is also the top opium poppy producer in the world. For years, drug trafficking has been the greatest source of finance for Afghanistan.
Indeed it is the warlords, some corrupted administrators and mercenaries who process the opium, transport them within the country, ship them to international markets and distribute there. This entire structure exploited the environment in Afghanistan and thus prospered.
Ignoring all these circumstances of Afghanistan and pursuing a crude policy based on bombing, drone operations, sending more troops, or keeping the existing ones will never deliver results.
Without taking the support of the tribes, solving the drug problem or putting an end to corruption, it is impossible to generate solutions in Afghanistan.
Along with these aforementioned solutions, an ideological struggle that would be carried out against radical groups would be the most significant path to pursue. These groups give no opportunity to any view other than their erroneous ideologies and systems, act upon their own convictions which do not stem from the Qur’an and put pressure upon the people.
For this reason, problems in Afghanistan and similar countries can only be settled by bringing militant groups to a right path by means of the Qur’an.
The peaceful environment can only be permanent when the bigoted ideology is removed intellectually.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Gulf Times: