The ongoing violent upsurge of terrorist attacks has taken many innocent lives in Afghanistan, and pushed the Afghan war to its bloodiest phase in the last 16 years. This furious escalation has brought many questions into the spotlight regarding the US strategy to deal with this growing conundrum. Previously, the Afghan capital was considered a relatively safe place; however, the recent brutal attacks in Kabul have unveiled the harsh reality that the entire country is on the verge of collapsing back into the hands of insurgents, once again.The organised bombings by the insurgents in the red zones of Afghanistan have shown the strength of these hostile factions, despite calculated, massive air strikes by the US government. It is a matter of immense distress that the Afghan Taliban and Islamic State (IS) have taken the war to the Afghan capital directly, which will prove disastrous if remedial pragmatic measures are not taken in time. This insurgency has the capacity to lead to unprecedented civilian causalities if left unaddressed. A careful analysis of the strategies of the insurgents revealed that they have changed their strategy of taking over Afghan territory, and instead have decided to fight Afghan security forces head on, even attacking Kabul if and when they deem it necessary, so as to undermine the government at the centre. There is no denying the impression that the Afghan National Army and other law maintaining agencies have improved their performance to maintain peace. However, it is also true that they are still not capable enough to confront such organised and well-equipped terror groups. Moreover, the recurrent breach of security by anti-state elements has made evident the inadequacy of the country’s law maintaining agencies.According to many reports, Afghan Taliban now control around 40 per cent of land in the country. Additionally, IS now also maintains vast swathes of territory in the country. Their presence is the primary reason behind the latest spike in civilian casualties in this war-torn area. Afghan Taliban now control around 40 per cent of land in the country. Additionally, IS now also maintains vast swathes of territory in the countryThe recent hike in terrorist attacks from the Taliban has led to a call for increased US airstrikes, which to some extent have helped in dispersing the Afghan Taliban from their strongholds in western Afghanistan. However, woefully, the US has failed to completely halt the ongoing insurgency that now threatens to envelope the country in the near future, and the weakening resolve of the Afghan government does not help the situation either.Pursuing this further, the recent skirmishes between the Taliban factions and Afghan National Army (ANA) have incensed the people in Washington. There is an indication that intensifying the presence of US forces in the region is now the only option left for the Trump administration. Trump has long been a vocal proponent of bringing the war to a quick end, no matter what the cost, and he reiterated this desire in a recent speech to the UN as well. However, similar statements have been issued by various US leaders in past, with no concrete results. The Taliban are not so easy to defeat, with their staunch commitment to their ideology, as well as their extensive knowledge of the region and guerrilla warfare techniques.Recently, Trump reinforced his aggressive approach to solving global issues, by completely ruling out peace talks with the Taliban. In this regard, he is blindly following the same strategies that were employed by his many predecessors. Yet, even a cursory glance at history, will reveal that military strength has never been the answer to this problem. But being mindful of Trump’s actions in the past, commentators the world over are predicting that Trump will be increasing US presences in Afghanistan in the upcoming days to try and stamp out the extremist factions once and for all. However, many US allies, especially from Europe, have had enough of military engagement in the region, and prefer a diplomatic solution to the problem.Predictably, the spate of violence in the territories of Afghanistan has increased the pressure on Islamabad. Both Kabul and Washington are blaming Pakistan for providing safe haven to militants responsible for attacks in their neighbouring countries. It is quite clear now that the US government is set to flex its muscles by increasing air strikes on alleged terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan, and the first step was to get them placed on the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) grey list in an effort to intimidate them even further. The US is also set to impose military and economic sanctions on Pakistan in the future, and will coerce other multilateral institutions to refrain from providing aid to the country. This is just another extension of the US’s “do more” mantra. The US keeps pressurising Pakistan to deal with terrorist threats in the region, like the Haqqani network, with an iron hand, yet it appears that they are only using Pakistan as a scapegoat for their own failures in Afghanistan.While it is true that Pakistan has done more than its share to eradicate extremist forces in the region, there is no denying that the state has also provided assistance to certain such groups for their own strategic advantage. However, it is now time for them to look at the big picture, and cut off their link with these nefarious groups, for the future stability of their own country, as well as the region as a whole.The writer is a Quetta-based columnist and an independent researcher. He can be reached at Asadhussainma@yahoo.comPublished in Daily Times, July 5th 2018.