Taliban Seem To Have “Strategic Momentum” In Afghanistan: Top US Official

Taliban Seem To Have “Strategic Momentum” In Afghanistan: Top US Official

Taliban Seem To Have 'Strategic Momentum' In Afghanistan: Top US Official

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

Washington:

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 General Mark Milley mentioned Wednesday.

Nearly 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.

But they’ve not one of the nation’s densely populated major cities, Milley informed 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 mentioned.

“A Taliban automated navy takeover just isn’t 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 not too long ago, the choice by US-led worldwide troops to go away.

Though the Afghan military has been skilled by worldwide forces, and estimates present it vastly outnumbers the Taliban’s ranks, Milley mentioned numbers are usually not all it takes to win a battle.

“The two most essential fight multipliers truly are will and management. And that is going to be a check now of the desire and management of the Afghan folks, the Afghan safety forces and the federal government of Afghanistan,” he mentioned.

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

But earlier this month he additionally warned that Afghans should come collectively in opposition to the insurgents, and admitted that it was “extremely unlikely” that one unified authorities would find yourself controlling the complete nation.

End sport “not but written”

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

In current years, 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 mentioned over the weekend that he “strenuously favors” a political settlement to finish the battle with the federal government in Kabul.

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

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

More than a dozen diplomatic missions in Kabul this week referred to 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 if Kabul can maintain them off, among the many eventualities that civilians face is the prospect of a protracted and bloody civil battle and the potential for the nation fracturing alongside ethnic strains.

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

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

“There’s a chance of an entire Taliban takeover or chance of any variety of different eventualities — breakdowns, warlordism, all types of different eventualities on the market,” he mentioned.

“We’re monitoring very intently. I do not suppose the top sport is but written.”

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

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