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1 Jun, 2017 01:41

‘As long as US & NATO continue to stoke violence in Afghanistan, it’s bound to increase’

‘As long as US & NATO continue to stoke violence in Afghanistan, it’s bound to increase’

The US-led military occupation of Afghanistan only foments the smoldering conflict and causes more civilian suffering, Matthew Hoh, an ex-marine and former State Department official, told RT, commenting on the Kabul bombing that killed 90 people on Wednesday.

At least 90 people were killed and 400 were injured in the blast that rocked Kabul’s diplomatic quarter on Wednesday morning. The bomb, containing some 1,500kg worth of explosives, was planted in one of the empty sewage tanks on a truck and went off in the close proximity to the German Embassy. The driver of the explosives-laden vehicle reportedly aimed to enter the Green Zone area, home to many foreign missions, when he detonated the device after being stopped at the checkpoint, TOLO News reported.   

The latest incident and the upward spiral of violence that has gripped Afghanistan in the recent years shows the ineffectiveness of the US and NATO strategy in Afghanistan, which is to quell the insurgency by returning violence, Hoh told RT.

“Violence is going only to create more violence. The only way to solve this problem is through reconciliation, through negotiation,” he said, adding the only result of US engagement has been “more suffering, more dead.”

Hoh argued that by becoming party to a civil war in 2001, that has been plaguing Afghanistan since the 1970s, the US “replaced one side of the conflict in power with the other side” instead of taking into account that “the conflict has been going on for decades and violence is not going to solve it.”

In spite of the historical record suggesting otherwise, the US decided to rely on military means to end the conflict, thus incurring multimillion-dollar costs for American taxpayers. Despite all the efforts to boost security, the bomber almost succeeded in entering one of the most tightly guarded areas in the Afghan capital.

“Getting past security just requires nothing more than one person just being a little bit smarter than the security guards or being able to bribe them or just having just the edge or the cunning to do so,” Hoh said, adding that failure to provide security in most sensitive areas “shows how silly the notion is that by spending a $1 trillion on the war over 16 years, we are going to end the bloodshed.”

An Iraq war veteran, Hoh said that it takes militants no more than three months to adjust to the strategies employed by the US military to counter their IEDs and come up with something new to circumvent them.

He added that neither deploying 5,000 more troops, discussed in the US military circles, nor killing more Taliban militants will solve the problem, as “the violence is only going to escalate the violence.”

The billions of dollars channeled to Afghanistan, besides bearing little effect on its overall security situation, only helps the corruption in the conflict-ridden country to thrive on.

“We know that the Afghan government is composed of the warlords and drug lords, so it wants more [US] troops to keep it in power. And that is what the American government has been doing for a decade and a half now,” he said, referring to the WikiLeaks publications exposing corruption in the Afghan government.

The former State Department official said that, having all this in mind, he believes it is unlikely the US citizens want their country’s involvement in Afghanistan to deepen.

“Whether or not the American people want to see more American troops to do this. I doubt that is the case.”


The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.