Taliban Appear To Have “Strategic Momentum” In Afghanistan: High US Official

The Taliban now controls about half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts. (File)


The Taliban seem to have the “strategic momentum” of their sweeping offensives throughout Afghanistan, however their victory is much from assured, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of employees Normal Mark Milley stated Wednesday.

Almost 20 years after the US toppled the Taliban regime within the wake of the 9/11 assaults, and with the withdrawal of US-led overseas forces all however full, the resurgent militants now management about half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts.

However they’ve not one of the nation’s densely populated principal cities, Milley instructed a press convention.

With the militants placing strain on round half of the nation’s provincial capitals, Afghan troops are “consolidating their forces” to guard these main city facilities, he added.

“They’re taking an method to guard the inhabitants, and a lot of the inhabitants lives within the provincial capitals and capital metropolis of Kabul,” Milley stated.

“A Taliban computerized navy takeover will not be a foregone conclusion.”

The Taliban are surging throughout Afghanistan, snapping up territory, seizing border crossings and encircling cities.

Their success has examined the morale of the Afghan military, already battered by years of shockingly excessive casualties and, extra lately, the choice by US-led worldwide troops to go away.

Although the Afghan military has been skilled by worldwide forces, and estimates present it vastly outnumbers the Taliban’s ranks, Milley stated numbers will not be all it takes to win a warfare.

“The 2 most essential fight multipliers really are will and management. And that is going to be a take a look at now of the desire and management of the Afghan individuals, the Afghan safety forces and the federal government of Afghanistan,” he stated.

US President Joe Biden has additionally stated {that a} Taliban takeover is “not inevitable.”

However earlier this month he additionally warned that Afghans should come collectively towards the insurgents, and admitted that it was “extremely unlikely” that one unified authorities would find yourself controlling the whole nation.

Finish recreation “not but written”

Milley’s feedback got here hours after the Taliban stated Wednesday they might struggle solely to defend themselves over the Muslim vacation of Eid al-Adha, however stopped wanting declaring a proper ceasefire.

Lately, the militants have declared a pause in combating with authorities forces over Islamic holidays, providing a short respite to Afghans who can go to household in relative security.

Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada stated over the weekend that he “strenuously favors” a political settlement to finish the warfare with the federal government in Kabul.

However the hardline Islamist motion’s push to capitalize on the final phases of the worldwide withdrawal has left many Afghans sceptical.

President Ashraf Ghani stated Tuesday that the Taliban had proved “they haven’t any will and intention for peace,” with negotiations between the 2 warring sides reaching little.

Greater than a dozen diplomatic missions in Kabul this week known as for “an pressing finish” to the Taliban’s present offensive, saying it was at odds with claims they need to safe a political deal to finish the battle.

Afghan civilians, who’ve lengthy taken the brunt of the combating since 2001, are additionally watching the Taliban advance in concern.

Many — particularly ladies and minorities — stand to lose hard-won rights and freedoms if the militants return to any type of energy.

Even when Kabul can maintain them off, among the many eventualities that civilians face is the prospect of a protracted and bloody civil warfare and the opportunity of the nation fracturing alongside ethnic strains.

It was the chaos of the civil warfare within the Nineteen Nineties that helped usher the Taliban to energy.

Milley stated the possibility of a negotiated political settlement is “nonetheless on the market.”

“There is a risk of an entire Taliban takeover or risk of any variety of different eventualities — breakdowns, warlordism, every kind of different eventualities on the market,” he stated.

“We’re monitoring very carefully. I do not suppose the tip recreation is but written.”

(Apart from the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is revealed from a syndicated feed.)

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