Two major attacks recently reported in Afghanistan have claimed human lives, including Romanian
Two major attacks recently reported in Afghanistan have claimed human lives, including Romanian: one representative of Romania's diplomatic mission in Kabul and a driver from the NATO command structures, who died in the explosion of a car-bomb near the Green Zone. The attacks have been claimed by the Taliban insurgents, who organize such attacks on a regular basis, mainly targeting the NATO forces, foreign citizens in Kabul and Afghan institutions. Currently, there are 760 Romanian military in Afghanistan, taking part in the Resolute Support mission. Speaking for Radio Romania, the military analyst Hari Bucur-Marcu has explained the situation in Afghanistan and why there is an international responsibility for this area:
Afghanistan is a special place in the world, geographically located among countries that are still trying to solve welfare or safety issues using military means. We are talking here about Pakistan, Iran and even Russia, countries that have been built on such a foundation, where the military power matters a lot, including with regard to citizens' day-to-day lives, not to mention the attitude of such a state in the world. Afghanistan, which is one of these states, got to be hit, especially by the United States, but also by the US allies, for the simple reason that it was harboring one of the terrorist organizations that had been the most successful in striking the US, namely Al Qaeda. For 18 years now, the US has been waging a war against these Taliban who were holding power back then. They have defeated them militarily, but they have not managed to eradicate them, so to speak, they are still there. From time to time they manage to load a car or lorry with explosives and target something. This is the background. The big question is what Romania is doing in this story and the answer is: international responsibility."
Since the US launched for the very first time military operations in Afghanistan, in October 2001, more than 2,400 soldiers have been killed and some 20,000 have been wounded, according to Pentagon statistics. 30 of them have been Romanian. The main targets in such conflict areas are the representatives of the big powers. In the first attack mentioned earlier, 80% of the Romanian embassy was destroyed, and that even if Romania is one of the countries that is liked in the area. Has something changed in this regard? The Romanian Foreign Minister Ramona Manescu explains:
"Nothing has changed. Liking Romania and the Romanians or not has nothing to do with the rationale behind a terrorist attack. It's a terrorist attack on a mission in Afghanistan, it's the mission of a European state, so it has nothing to do with liking or not liking Romania.'
The attack occurred shortly after a meeting between the Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and the US Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, focusing on the draft peace deal with the Afghan insurgents, which some Taliban do not agree with. The deal is now under a big question mark, since president Donald Trump cancelled negotiations with the Taliban. The White House leader suddenly announced the cancelation of a meeting in Camp David, which should have taken place a few days before the commemoration of the 9/11 attacks, perpetrated by al-Qaida and which were the reason why military forces were sent to Afghanistan. Donald Trump, who had promised the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, and therefore no more US involvement in the conflict, after 18 years, explained his change of stand with the recent attacks in Kabul, in which an American soldier was killed, among others.
Still, the US does not exclude the possibility of resuming negotiations with the Taliban, provided the insurgents change their attitude and observe their commitments, said the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Several former US ambassadors to Afghanistan have warned, in an open letter, about the risks of a hasty withdrawal of the US troops, before truly restoring peace in the country. In Kabul, president Ashraf Ghani has stated that real peace in Afghanistan will only be possible when the Taliban have put an end to violence and get ready for direct talks with the government. Some 200 people have been killed and 900 wounded in attacks committed in Kabul since the beginning of the year. (translated by M. Ignatescu)