STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Afghan Bloodshed and Turmoil May Only Be Beginning
By Staff News & Analysis - July 02, 2013

7 killed in Afghan attack on NATO firm … Bombings and other violence have been on the rise in the Afghan capital in recent weeks … Militants blew up a suicide car bomb at the gate to a NATO compound Taliban took responsibility for attack 7 people killed, several wounded … Afghan militants armed with explosives and firearms attacked a NATO compound just outside of Kabul early Tuesday, killing seven people and wounding several others, according to a high-ranking police official. The seven killed include four private security guards from Nepal, one Afghan guard and two Afghan truck drivers waiting to get inside the compound when the attack began. – USA Today

Dominant Social Theme: Afghanistan … What's that?

Free-Market Analysis: Those who are waiting for the "navel of the world" to calm down – for a reduction in hostilities, in other words – may have a longer wait than expected.

While the Taliban have made noises about negotiating an end to the current episode of the West's century old war against the tribes of Afghanistan and Pakistan, the reality is that there is little let-up.

It is summer and the war against the US and NATO continues. Here's more:

Kabul provincial Police Chief Mohammad Ayuob Salangi said the attack was carried out by four men, one of whom rammed an explosive-laden truck into the compound's gate. The others were wearing suicide vests, Deputy Chief of Police Dawoud Amin told USA TODAY. All four were killed in the explosion and subsequent gun battle.

A truck packed with explosives left a crater more than 30-feet wide, blowing open the compound gate. The other militants entered the breach before exploding their vests. The blast destroyed several buildings and reduced more than a dozen tractor trailers to smoldering, twisted heaps of charred metal.

… Bombings and other violence are on the rise in the Afghan capital in recent weeks, targeting both local government offices and foreign interests. The uptick in violence comes amid U.S. efforts to hold peace talks with the Taliban in Qatar, home of the militant group's recently opened office.

Earlier this week , Afghan military officials reported that attacks on policemen left nearly 300 security forces dead over the last month, one of the highest counts since the beginning of the war. Local and national police are increasingly targeted by the Taliban and other militant groups as they take over security operations throughout the country. At the same time, deaths tolls for U.S. and NATO forces are down as they scale back combat operations.

We've predicted civil war between the Pashtuns and the Northern Tribes once the US and NATO retreat from Afghanistan. The idea, from what we can tell, was to control this vast, rich land and to finally make it part of the international community. But that hasn't happened and the current balance of power is tenuous, indeed.

The British invaded Afghanistan more than one hundred years ago with an eye toward pacifying the Pashtuns and Punjabis. But the result was approximately the same as today – a nation left divided but not pacified.

The idea today is that the Pashtun-oriented government run Hamid Karzai will provide the West with the domestic control that it could not acquire via force of arms. But Karzai is not seen as legitimate by many Pashtuns and thus may not survive a Western pullout.

While it is true that the Taliban is probably not seen as fully representative of the Pashtun nation, either, it is likely to benefit far more from the West's pullout than Karzai and his allies – who have nothing to gain and everything to lose.

The Punjabis running Pakistan will try to exercise influence through the Pakistani Taliban and one could even anticipate that there will be a split between the Pakistan and Afghan Taliban, thus creating a complex war between the Northern tribes, the Pakistani Taliban and the Afghan Taliban.

After Thoughts

The bloodshed and turmoil may only be beginning.

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