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Attacks in Kabul Test Government’s Resolve

Beth Kanopsic

The Taliban launched attacks on two high-profile targets this week in Kabul, Afghanistan aimed at the country’s own government and a NATO command center. As Afghan security forces take over the day to day operations from international forces, the Taliban attempts to rattle the public’s confidence in the Afghan government. While coalition troops begin their withdrawal from Afghanistan it is difficult to predict how the government in Kabul will fare at the end of 2014.

Early Monday morning, seven insurgents launched an assault on NATO’s airport headquarters armed with rocket-propelled grenades, assault rifles, and at least one bomb. The attackers occupied two buildings under construction and fired toward the military facility. Two of the insurgents were armed with suicide vests and detonated them during the fighting. Afghan security forces fought against the insurgents for four hours, leaving two Afghan civilians wounded and all the attackers dead.

An Afghan policeman stands guard at a building after Taliban fighters attached near Kabul airport, Afghanistan, Monday, June, 10, 2013. (Photo: AP/Ahmad Jamshid)

On Tuesday, a Taliban militant rammed his SUV into a bus carrying court officials and civilians outside of Afghanistan’s Supreme Court in Kabul. The suicide bombing killed 17 people and wounded 39, the deadliest such attack in almost two years. Terrorists have targeted judges, who the Taliban says does the bidding of Western powers, but Afghan civilians are often hurt in the the bombings.

Even as Afghan security forces try to face down the Taliban independently, NATO casualties continue to mount. “Insider” or “green on blue” attacks, where Afghan forces open fire on international troops, continue to pose a grave security threat. Most recently on June 8, a man in an Afghan army uniform killed two American trainers and an American civilian. While some insider attacks are caused by cultural misunderstandings, Taliban infiltration or intimidation in the local security forces jeopardizes relationships with NATO forces and Western moral.

As NATO pulls out of Afghanistan, the future looks dim for the government and in turn, for the people.