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

Growing Losses Raise Fear Lashkar Gah Could Collapse

by Jason Ditz, August 15, 2016

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.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz