Paucity of Afghanistan’s official strength: Would Afghanistan be able to maintain its role over its territory in forthcoming years?

By:  Asif shah

in the exploitation of this land. After the introduction of Nation State system, both the great powers of their times, the British Empire and Soviet Union saw their humiliating defeat. Soviet Union has been an example for times to come, where they were disintegrated into 15 independent states following their invasion and humiliation defeat in Afghanistan.

Modern era is a live example where the example of United States is exposed in front of the world. United States known for having the most sophisticated and advance military weapons of the time lost their battle against the cavemen of Afghanistan. Considered as the longest war in their history and the most expensive war in the history of the world, United States failed to be anywhere near victory, rather changed their official policy of ‘We don’t negotiate with terrorists’ to declaring Taliban a political armed If sources of history are to be believed then the history of Afghanistan can be traced back to around 2000-1500 BC. The territory of modern era Islamic Republic of Afghanistan has played an important role throughout in its history for each great Power of its time owing to its strategic importance. Afghanistan over its course of history has been attacked by Great Powers of their times, however, they failed to retain their occupation for long and rather faced a humiliating defeat, marking the end of their glory. As a result, the territory of Afghanistan has been dubbed ‘The graveyard of Empires.’

Whether it was Greek Empire of Alexander the Great of Macedon, Maurya Empire, Mongol Empire, the Timurid Empire of Timur, the Mughal Empire, various Persian Empires or the Sikh Empire, all were plunged identity.

On the other hand the US backed Afghan forces have lost countless of their soldiers while putting an end to the war against Jihadists. Afghan Taliban, that once were the ruled Afghanistan, were dethroned by America following the 9/11 attack on Twin towers and soon after, a coalition government was formed in Afghanistan by parties who were at the opposition to the ruling of Taliban. Taliban throughout the so-called War on Terror have been strenuous against the official army of Afghanistan. According to a report published by New York Times on 9/9/2018, more than 20 personnel a day of Afghan Army were being killed on daily basis Official strength of Afghan army can be evaluated by the fact when U.S. decided to shake hands with Taliban at a peace table in Doha [Qatar] and Afghanistan official body was not even invited. This shows the relevance of how important is the government of Afghanistan for the affairs of Afghanistan.

The U.S.-Taliban agreement was to bring peace after a prolonged war of almost two decades however, things got on an awkward turn following the signing the agreement, as attacks on regular Afghan forces once again became common and collecting taxes from the local businesses holders became the norm. The recent attack of Taliban on Afghanistan Army in which they killed 21 of their soldiers started new series of offence, as previously they used to accept responsibility for the attacks, however this time not only did they accept responsibility rather they asserted that they were conducting operation against their enemy.

Comprehensively, the current circumstances of Afghanistan are clearly indicating the intentions of Taliban in coming years. The Taliban, who are famous for their ‘hit and run’ strategy are once again at a brink of a complete takeover of Afghanistan and as a predictable forecast, will rule the state according to their own form of governance. Fact remains; there is no authority, leader or dictator that would be able to rule Afghanistan without the consent of Taliban because Taliban has also control on Afghanistan’s much areas. Taliban which is the greatest resistance party to United States since the American invasion of Afghanistan will not allow the current Afghan regime to rule peacefully post-US withdrawal.

To conclude, Afghanistan has been a territory that has never been occupied and exploited by any Great Powers of the past for so long and from the current circumstances, seems impossible to be occupied anytime in the future. Afghanistan has been known as the Graveyard of the Empires, and even in the contemporary times is proving their historical reputation to be true. Taliban has never been friendly, neither to the occupiers nor the locals who have supported occupiers; the world needs to realize the ground reality of a defeated regime, Taliban’s resurgence of power is inevitable post US-withdrawal of Afghanistan. The relevance of the Afghan regime could be seen during the recent peace talks in Qatar where they were not even invited. All in all, world should start a new fresh, where they recognize the ground reality and start new diplomatic relations with the regime that is about to come. Afghanistan Government’s must remove the grievances of Taliban; otherwise, official body (U.S. Puppets) would never be able to maintain its authority.


Asif Shah is an undergraduate student at National Defense University, (NDU) Islamabad. He is pursuing Undergraduate degree in Strategic Studies field.

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