Newest U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan Mirrors Past Plans for Retreat

In 2015, the Obama administration inspired Afghan commanders to surrender defending a few of the most distant checkpoints and outposts that have been seen as troublesome to reclaim and maintain. General Nicholson supported the concept after he took command in 2016, the official stated.

Should Afghan troops pull again now, defending distant pockets of the nation would largely be left to the native police, that are extra poorly skilled than the navy and way more weak to Taliban violence. In some areas, law enforcement officials have reduce offers with the Taliban to guard themselves from assaults.

Ghulam Sarwar Haidari, the previous deputy police chief of northwestern Badghis Province, stated his forces withdrew from the small city of Dara-e-bom after the Afghan National Army deserted their outposts in previous months. “We should lose 100 lives to retake that area,” he stated.

Not all the roughly 14,000 United States troops at the moment in Afghanistan have pulled again to cities. Some who’re coaching and advising Afghan troops as part of Mr. Trump’s war strategy are stationed in bases in distant areas and smaller cities.

Mr. Trump has lengthy referred to as for ending the struggle in Afghanistan and solely reluctantly accepted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s recommendation to ship a further four,000 troops in an try to say victory.

The Trump administration can also be instructing prime American diplomats to seek direct talks with the Taliban to refuel negotiations to finish the struggle, and two senior Taliban officers stated on Saturday that such talks had been held in Qatar every week in the past. If they occur, the negotiations can be a serious shift in American coverage and would function a bridge to an eventual withdrawal of United States forces from Afghanistan.

Evan McAllister, a former reconnaissance Marine employees sergeant and sniper, fought in elements of Helmand Province in 2008 and 2011 — areas that at the moment are virtually fully below Taliban management. He stated attempting to take care of an Afghan government-friendly presence in rural areas was, and nonetheless is, a “fool’s errand.”

“Attempting to control rural areas in Afghanistan always eventually ends up boiling down to simple personal survival,” Mr. McAllister stated. “No strategic gains are accomplished, no populace is influenced, but the death or dismemberment of American and Afghan troops is permanent and guaranteed.”

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