Three Czech soldiers were killed on Sunday, Aug. 5, by a suicide bomber in Charikar, Afghanistan, and their names were Staff. Sgt. Martin Marcin, Cpl. Kamil Benes and Cpl. Patrik Stepanek. They were conducting a foot patrol when the bomber struck, and a U.S. soldier and two Afghan soldiers were also wounded in the attack.
The Czech soldiers were three of 230 Czech Republic service members currently deployed to Afghanistan, in support of NATO’s mission there. They have been deploying to Afghanistan for years, working alongside U.S. military forces in various capacities, and shouldering their portion of the risk.
Charikar is in eastern Afghanistan, just north of Kabul, and is the capital of the Parwan province.
Gen. John Nicholson, the Army general in charge of U.S. forces in the country, said that,
My thoughts and prayers, along with those of all of the 41 Resolute Support nations, are with the families and friends of our fallen and wounded service members, and our injured Afghan brothers and their families. Their sacrifice on behalf of the Afghan people and our coalition will endure in both our hearts and history, and further strengthen our resolve.”
Every organization, country or party has a role to play in the war, and many of these parties have expressed an interest in peace talks in recent months. U.S. officials have been meeting with the Taliban, in the hopes that brokering peace may yet be possible.
However, fighting still continues as no conclusion has been made — the Taliban continue in their attacks on civilians, the Afghan government, and as we saw again on Sunday, NATO forces. In a NATO press release, it was said that NATO “will respect and support a negotiated political settlement led by the Afghan Government which ends violence, cuts ties to terrorism and protects the human rights of all Afghan citizens.” However, until that happens: “There should be no doubt about NATO’s position: NATO will continue to provide the support that the Afghan Government has requested so we can help Afghanistan fully provide for its own security.”
Both the Taliban and NATO command have made it very clear that the fighting will continue until a definitive peace is decided upon, or some alternate solution is brought to the table. NATO cannot risk pulling out Afghanistan and having it turn into another breeding ground for terrorism, and yet as time goes on, the war puts a strain on the countries involved — not to mention the lives lost in the process.
Featured image: A Czech special troops soldier stands guard at the entrance to a zone where International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) medics from 6th field hospital inspect Afghan residents on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, July 3, 2002. Czech military medics began this appointment two months ago, and visit six villages once a week each. The team has two medical cars with good equipment, which gives them the possibility to perform light surgical operations. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits