Stars and Stripes, 30 December 2014
AAN’s country director in Afghanistan, Kate Clark, is extensively quoted in this year-ender:
Kate Clark, a senior analyst with the Afghanistan Analyst Network, said the war for Afghans looks completely different than it did a year ago.
“I think the nature of the war is changing,” she said. “It’s predominantly Afghan versus Afghan now.”
Clark said it’s impossible to say how the situation will evolve over the next year, especially with possible violence before and during the presidential election in April, but the fact that the dead are overwhelmingly Afghan may force the Taliban to change how they portray their fight.
“At the moment, they’re saying it’s a jihad against foreign occupation,” Clark said. “The fewer actual foreigners there are on the ground … the less they can make that argument.” …
Clark pointed out that during the civil war here in the 1990s, each side claimed it was fighting a war against foreigners, even though all the fighters were Afghan, but they all received material support from foreign powers.
NATO coalition spokesmen have been doggedly optimistic. Clark said the Taliban, who are heavily outnumbered by government forces, have failed to take new territory this year. However, Afghan troops have failed to stop insurgents from taking a heavy toll on both civilians and the police, especially the paramilitary Afghan Local Police, which have become one of the Taliban’s favorite targets.
This article was last updated on 9 Mar 2020