The Afghan army and the US are unable to stem the increase in Taliban activity as morale begins to diminish.
Rabat – Afghanistan is not seeing gains in its war, an armed conflict that has raged for the past 17 years. The violence continued Friday, when an explosive killed nine at a mosque in an Afghan army base in Khost province.
The attack is part of a trend with the Taliban beginning to intensify combat against coalition forces. Since the Afghan army assumed control of the war in 2015, approximately 20 Afghan soldiers have been killed each day, said President Ashraf Ghani.
Lack of control by the federal government is also affecting the Afghan army’s ability to find willing recruits. The Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction (SIGAR) of Afghanistan released a report showing the number of police and military personnel fell by 9,000 compared to last year.
Afghans are showing signs of fatigue from the two-decade war, and as the US begins pulling out from the area, more territory is falling back into Taliban control.
Taliban forces are reportedly better equipped than any point during the American intervention in Afghanistan.
A report revealed that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, the force planning to take control after the US exit, is marked by widespread corruption, desertion, and extremely low morale. According to the Washington Post, in a fight earlier in the year, many Afghan troops cut deals with the Taliban, abandoning their posts before combat started.
The Taliban’s success is highlighting flaws in the US’s policy in Afghanistan. The failure to adapt to Taliban strategies continues into the Trump administration. The US adopted a strategy of placing coalition forces mostly in the urban areas of Afghanistan.
The strategy gives control over the major population centers, but it enables the Taliban to rule unchecked in the country, with statistics from SIGAR estimating the Taliban control about 56% of Afghan districts.
The Taliban appear to be winning the current waiting game they are playing with the Afghan government and the US. The group realizes they cannot win against a US-supported coalition, but with US troops being focused elsewhere, and an underprepared Afghan replacement, the Taliban are likely to begin upping the ante to gain influence in the country as the coalition pulls out.