Western officials and Afghan military leaders are loudly hyping their “first solo offensive” against the Taliban, in the Helmand Province, saying it will prove the Afghan military can function without NATO aid.
If Afghan forces engaged in their “first solo” anything sounds familiar, it’s because those same officials were loudly trumpeting their operations against the Taliban in Helmand last year.
At the time, it was a defensive operation, trying to hold territory that had been left by US and British forces in the province. It also went very poorly, hence the new “first offensive” operation to try to take it back.
Exactly how “out of it” NATO is remains to be seen, particularly after the defense of Helmand went so poorly. Trying to demonstrate Afghan military competence is something NATO likely has far too much interest in to leave to Afghan military leaders, and they will doubtless be providing as much behind-the-scenes aid as they can muster, trying to sell the scheme as a success.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Major Clashes in Libyan Capital, at Least 20 Killed, Airport Closed - January 15th, 2018
- Aid Cranes Arrive at Key North Yemen Port of Hodeidah - January 15th, 2018
- Russia FM: Zone for US-Backed Rebels Could Split Syria - January 15th, 2018
- Syrian Army Vow to End US Presence in Syria - January 15th, 2018
- Syrian Rebels Push US to Resume Failed CIA Arms Smuggling Scheme - January 15th, 2018