Can Afghan Army alone save Kabul from Afghan Taliban ?
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama approved broader role of US military to assist and accompany Afghan forces to counter Taliban insurgency.
US defence officials claimed that US troops will assist Afghan forces to perform more proactively on the battlefield and US air power will also provide close air support to Afghan troops.
Earlier, US military was providing defensive and offensive training to Afghan forces to take action against Taliban insurgents.
“The US forces will more proactively support Afghan conventional forces,” the official said.
The recent orders came at a time when Afghan Taliban are stepping up their attacks against the Afghanistan government and Afghan Army is finding it difficult to cap the Taliban insurgency.
Recently 13 retired United States Army Generals and Diplomats have written letter to US President Barack Obama indicating that reduction in the US Forces in Afghanistan by the end of the 2016 is going to be fatal for Afghanistan as Afghan Taliban have stepped up their campaign against the Afghanistan government and the Afghan National Security Forces ANSF are unable to coup up with the Afghan Taliban rising insurgency.
Earlier United States Commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson has also testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee that reduction in number of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan by the end of 2016 will trigger the Afghanistan insurgency further and the future of Afghanistan is going to be in doldrums if US forces withdraw from Afghanistan at this stage.
United States has raised the Afghanistan National Security Forces ANSF of 350,000 in last 14 years and even today is sustaining such a huge Army with a cost of $ 4 billions per year but the desired results could not be achieved with the ANSF as it is unable to control or even reduce the Afghan Taliban insurgency.
Afghanistan Army desertion rates have soared up to to over 7% in recent months and various cases of Afghanistan Army and Police officials either surrendering or deserting to Afghan Taliban have been witnessed in last 2 years. In many of the cases the deserting or surrendering Afghan Army soldiers have taken along the weapons, arms and ammunitions along with them which has served as a booster to the arsenal of Afghan Taliban.
United States had planned to reduce the present strength of its armed Forces in Afghanistan from 9,800 to 5,500 by 2017 but after the request of field commanders, Afghanistan government and analysing the on ground situation Obama administration is most likely to reverse its earlier decision of Forces reduction in Afghanistan.
Afghan Taliban had captured the northern province of Kunduz from Afghanistan Army and only with the assistance of US ground forces and the Air Power it was able to retake Kunduz from the clutches of Afghan Taliban.
Recently Afghan Taliban had attacked the southern province of Helmand and only with the assistance of Allied Forces ground and Air Power ANSF was able to avoid the fall of Helmand from clutches of Afghan Taliban.
Last but not the least it has been admitted by Allied Forces Commanders and the independent analysts and strategists that Afghan Taliban capture the maximum area of Afghanistan since 2001 fall of Afghan Taliban Government in Kabul as a result of US and Allied Forces Operation Enduring Freedom.
The question of defeat of Afghan Taliban in Afghanistan is nowhere existing rather the strategists are asking the question that whether ANSF would be able to avoid the fall of Kabul in hands of Afghan Taliban without the active assistance of the Allied Forces.
This is the sole reason which has forced the US Commanders and the Obama administration of not reducing the number of allied forces in Afghanistan.
However the talks of increasing the number of Allied Forces in Afghanistan has also started to surface in the policy making circles with each passing day as Afghan Taliban are gaining the strength and power to attack heartland of Afghanistan, Kabul at their will.