Afghan Army, Police Trade Blame as Helmand Losses to Taliban Mount

Growing Losses Raise Fear Lashkar Gah Could Collapse

Fears of the Taliban’s mounting gains in the Helmand Province leaving them in control of the capital city of Lashkar Gah continue to mount, and with little idea how to turn the tide of battle, Afghan Army and police officials are trading blame over why things are going so bad.

“The police, as soon as they were inflicted with some casualties, gave up about 27 posts one after another without a fight,” complained Third Regiment commander Col. Nematullah Khalil, adding that his troops found their posts surrounded suddenly because of the quick losses.

Police chief Lt. Col. Mohammad Omar Jan denied this, saying that the police are suffering far more casualties than anyone else, and that the army is just blaming them to cover up its own weakness in the battle, as they struggle to hold the last line of defense before the capital.

Afghan officials in Kabul insist that Lashkar Gah won’t be allowed to fall, but they’re leaving that task up to fighters who the Taliban are consistently defeating. Reinforcements, to the extent they were deployed at all, are slow to arrive because of substantial Taliban control in the area, and Taliban minefields.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • The Taliban are going to return to power in Kabul anyway. The choice now is to have a Taliban government which isn’t hostile to everyone and one which is out for revenge. The longer the bloodshed goes on the less likely the former option will be.

    Let’s also remember that the Taliban are not ISIS and haven’t any ambitions outside Afghanistan and the historically Afghan areas of Pakistan. In fact they could have been co opted ten years ago with a power sharing offer. But America and its puppet warlords wanted victor’s justice. They got neither victory nor justice.