Q.: How significantly has the US-led coalition contributed toward degrading the Taliban’s capabilities, and do you expect the Trump administration’s recent announcement of an increase in US troops will help with preventing further attacks like this week’s?
A.: Seven to eight years ago we had what was called the "Obama surge." We had about 150,000 plus international troops positioned in Afghanistan and yet we had an intensifying conflict from 2009 all the way to today. And I don’t think three thousand additional US troops are going to change much on the ground.
TF-Ready, 504th MI Bde, conducted their Transfer of Authority Ceremony at U.S. Forces Afghanistan, Bagram Airfield October 14, 2017. pic.twitter.com/n1pWGBtcKA— USForces Afghanistan (@USFOR_A) 14 октября 2017 г.
For the moment, it looks like the insurgency is still intensifying, and they are inflicting damage, not just on the Afghan government and national security forces but on the forces’ of international allies also who are assisting Afghanistan across the country. Over the past few days, we have seen attacks in the South and in the east and in Kabul, it also looks like enhancement of troops and further coalition air support are not going to tame this insurgency. It is still in its stage of intensifying.
Q.: So, what do President Ghani and his government need to do to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table, or is the military option really the only one available?