Afghanistan: Increasing International and Domestic Political Tension

A recent attack at the German Consulate in Afghanistan has killed 6 people and left well over 100 injured. On Friday, the BBC reported that a vehicle full of explosives targeted the consulate’s car park and was directly responsible for the intense damage caused in the Mazar-e-Sharif area. The vehicle managed to barge its way through an exterior wall of the consulate, consequently flipping over many cars.

The explosions left the German consulate severely damaged, amplified by a large crater caused by the impact of the bombs. Glass panels of the building and surrounding offices were shattered, forcing many injured people to attend hospital. Surprisingly, no German officials were affected by the attack, in which the Taliban claimed responsibility. Bystanders to the situation said that many of the injured were in bed at the time of the attack.

It is assumed that the Taliban conducted the attack as a retaliation to the November 3 air strikes in Kunduz, Afghanistan. 1000 German military officials make up a large contingent of NATO’s Resolute Support mission to Afghanistan, and according to the Taliban, were largely responsible for the 30 casualties. Moreover, Afghanistan President, Ashraf Ghani, labelled the situation as a “crime against humanity and all international laws”. NATO also expressed complete disapproval of the incident.

This is not the first time the Taliban have taken aim at a diplomatic institution in Afghanistan. In 2012, NATO’s Camp in Kabul was bombarded with 9 suicide bombers who set off explosions on the airbase, killing an additional 3 civilians.

The Taliban have been in operation since 1984 where its origins lie in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan halted their movements for the most part of the last decade due to the US’s response to the 9/11 World Trade Centre terrorist ambush. Since then, the Taliban have resurfaced in Afghanistan and have grown from strength to strength in Pakistan. Last year, the Taliban asserted their domestic dominance by re capturing Kunduz and have conducted multiple spontaneous and largely unprovoked attacks.

Setting out to enforce their own radical Islamic views, laws and ideologies in the region, the Taliban hope to one day hold significant power and acquire vast amounts of territory to enhance their organisational and military credibility.

Soft-diplomatic measures are vital to the future of Afghanistan’s political make up, ensuring that the Taliban do not gain a strong hold on the controlling of domestic activity in either nation state. Peace negotiations were set to commence today, between both Afghanistan and the Taliban however, officials of the rebel group have requested more time to determine their diplomatic intent. Whilst the Afghani government and the rebel group are in a state of political uncertainty, both powers should abstain from conflict to demonstrate a concerted effort to create a civil and harmonious national environment.