For the third time in a week, terrorists in or associated with the Taliban network in Afghanistan have struck at the heart of Kabul, showing that they are a resurgent force seemingly capable of hitting where and when as they choose. In the most recent attack, on Saturday, a suicide bomber in an ambulance laden with explosives bluffed his way through one checkpoint to be able to enter for supposedly fortified and protected area in the heart of the capital. Once at his intended target — another police checkpoint where people were queueing to enter nearby embassies, international missions and offices — the terrorist detonated his payload, killing a hundred or so and maiming scores more.
This was a despicable act, one that shows the utter contempt in which the Taliban and those who follow its medieval and evil philosophy hold for human life, caring not one iota for their victims or for Afghanistan itself. And to use an ambulance in their monstrous ruse speaks more to their demented state of mind and the lowest levels of depravity to which these killers would sink. What’s more, these murderous militants are now emboldened, having struck at a Kabul hotel last weekend and killed mostly foreigners, and then forced Save the Children, the international charity working to alleviate misery caused by the group’s activities, to shut up shop. Indeed, by intimidating and forcing out Save the Children from Afghanistan, the Taliban have shown once more that the present-day health of the children in their lands matters not one scintilla. The Taliban are determined that they will return Afghanistan back to the Stone Age, where women are cloistered, uneducated and serve in a society little different from the caliphate envisioned by Daesh.
The events of the past three years and the struggle to overcome Daesh shows that such a determined and organised group can bring bloody chaos, and that they are difficult to defeat on the battlefield. But they can be defeated by a determined, coordinated and organised effort, and the caliphate and its demented followers have been eliminated from the map.
The Taliban too can be defeated. Certainly, given the events in Afghanistan over these past 15 years, the Taliban had been pushed to the far sidelines, and when international interests wanes in that nation, the Taliban moves from weakness to strength. It must, however, can and must be defeated. That will take a similar international coordinated effort, but the time is fast approaching where that must now be done.