Afghan President Vows Shakeup as Taliban Surges

Taliban Seizing Large Portions of Helmand Province

Throughout 13 years of NATO occupation, Afghanistan’s war has been defined by “fighting seasons,” with spring offensives by the Taliban lasting through the early autumn, and the militants wintering over before attacking anew during the spring thaw.

This year, however, the Taliban has been gaining a lot of territory, particularly in the Helmand Province, where gains are mounting in the wake of a NATO drawdown. The Taliban are not interested in fleeing into the mountains for winter.

There was no December calm, and if anything the attacks seem to be getting worse as the winter goes on. That’s got President Ghani declaring the losses to be “enough.”

Condemning the Taliban as “un-Islamic,” Ghani promised a major shake-up of the Afghan security infrastructure, talking about a return to the Soviet occupation-era system of security management.

Ghani’s spokesmen insisted they believe they have more than enough troops to stop the Taliban, and that it is simply a question of better coordination against them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of