19:41 GMT04 July 2020
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    Four attacks rocked Afghanistan over the weekend, with at least 26 government security officers being killed and two schools torched Saturday and Sunday night. Government officials are blaming Taliban militants for some of the attacks.

    Loud & Clear hosts Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek spoke with Brian Terrell, a long-time peace activist and co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, about the uptick.

    Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks, and the Taliban forces generally do not attack schools, the New York Times pointed out. Nobody was harmed in the fires.

    "There's not been an attack on a school, I think, in 10 years. Every expert — people in the government, people in the military — all say that the occupation and the attacks by the US government and the Afghan proxies is only fueling the insurgency. They're not making it abate at all."

    In the Sancharak district, where the government has been battling Taliban forces for control for the past year, two government checkpoints were attacked by Taliban fighters equipped with night vision equipment and sniper rifles, according to provincial governor Naqibullah Daqiq. One Afghan soldier was killed and 10 pro-government militiamen were slain trying to counter the Taliban ambush. 

    Afghan police have pleaded with the United States to send night vision equipment to help balance the battlefield in the fight against the Taliban, but US officials feared it could end up in Taliban hands, as other material has: on Friday, the US military released a report detailing the theft of $154.4 million worth of aid in the form of fuel that is believed to have wound up in insurgent hands, Sputnik reported.

    The three other attacks took place in separate provinces: Ghazni, Faryab and the city of Jalalabad in Nangarhar.

    The US government's drone campaign has also picked up the pace in the country recently, which is notable because Terrell says that former US President Barack Obama's policies obscured the lines between who is and who isn't considered a combatant and what is and what isn't considered a battlefield. In this way, Terrell argues, the United States has made Afghanistan chaotic.

    The activist said that the US military's typical distinction of the seasons in Afghanistan is no longer apparent. "Fighting season" begins in the spring after the last harvest, while "opium season" begins with the planting of poppy seeds in October. "The seasonal ebb and flow has not been apparent, because the fighting has gone all throughout the winter," Terrell said.

    "This is unfortunately the natural and unavoidable outcome of the continuing occupation," Terrell told Loud & Clear.


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