In this past week, multiple violent attacks done by the Taliban group have been executed against the Afghan military. By the end of this week, 120 people were killed by this group – Taliban militants attacked an Afghan army base in the Kandahar province only leaving two soldiers uninjured; six policemen were ambushed and killed in the Balkh province; 20 government officials were killed in an attack on district headquarters; and two Humvees exploded leaving 60 dead. The Taliban is continuously making violent acts towards the Afghan government; however, recently there has been a large spike in the number of attacks as well as their severity.
The tension between the Afghan government and the Taliban officially began in the War in Afghanistan. The United States invaded Afghanistan in 2001 with the intention of breaking up the terrorist group, al-Qaeda. In order to do this, the United States worked to remove the Taliban from power so that al-Qaeda could not remain in hiding. There is currently a war in Afghanistan raging between the Taliban and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) over the Afghan government. A possible factor for the general increase in violence could be the the new permission given to Gen. John Nicholson (the commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan). He was told to be more aggressive and to take extreme measures against the Taliban. Nicholson now has the authority to allow “more warplanes and drones” into Afghanistan, along with “a few thousand more American troops.”
An example of a Taliban attack that directly affects the United States is the horrific kidnapping of Caitlan Coleman which resulted in the surfacing of the Taliban in American press. An American girl in her 20s, Caitlan Coleman, was held captive by the Taliban for five years. She underwent traumatic events including the birth of a child in captivity as a result of rape. Recently, she was rescued by U.S. and Pakistani troops and immediately taken back to the Toronto and then brought to a hospital for unspecified reasons. Coleman reported that she feels that she is being put under too much pressure by the press for information on her case.
Currently, the C.I.A is continuing with their aggressive approach in finding the Taliban. Mike Pompeo at the security conference in the University of Texas claims that “we can’t perform our mission if we’re not aggressive”. The expanded missions in Afghanistan will lead to a cover over what exactly is happening to the public eye and the C.I.A has refused to give more information. In addition, other outside countries are putting pressure on Pakistan to control the Taliban along with the United State’s presence in the country.