Expect more attacks on aid workers, guest houses etc in Afghanistan
That’s my 2am effort at stating the rather obvious. But I do have a point to make as to why we can expect to see more..
I won’t weigh in on the “why now” aspect of yesterday’s attacks in Kabul but it is my belief that we can expect to see a lot more of these types of attack and in particular the targeting of aid projects and their infrastructure, aid workers and their places of residence.
The Taliban’s magazine (the issue number escapes me) recently reprinted parts of Abu Walid al Masri’s strategic guidance from late last year, wherein he suggested attacking these particular target sets, along with others, as a means to force the withdrawal of foreign forces and foreigners from Afghanistan. It was also suggested as a tactic because it would force more troops into protection roles thus reducing their capacity for offensive action.
I can’t remember if they re-printed the whole article, or if Abu Walid included it in one of his articles, but I definitely remember seeing some of it again in a recent Taliban publication.
As I’ve noted previously, republication of such guidance amounts to official sanction of these types of tactics against these target classes, and probably portends to a broader adoption of them–if the previous example of Abu Walid’s suggestion of hostage taking and the ensuing fatwa by Mullah Omar is anything to go by.
I would be interested to hear Alex and Felix’s opinion on this as they generally have their ear to the ground on how much traction guidance like this actually has in the field.
I had planned to write an article about this guidance, and got halfway through it, then hit thesis wall, so it’s on pause. Hopefully I can get to it soon.
Update: re-reading this made me realise I should clarify that I haven’t seen Abu Walid directly encourage suicide attacks against these target sets; my comments were more directed at the target sets, rather than the tactic.
Update 2 : Alex has graciously taken the time to answer in the comments section below. Thanks Alex!