26 Afghan Police Killed as Taliban Counters Offensive

Afghan Army's Offensive Sparks Major Counterattack

At least 20 more Afghan police were killed in a flurry of Taliban attacks south of Kabul, bringing the number of slain police up to 26 since the Afghan Army announced its new “offensive” on the Taliban Monday.

Afghan officials are couching the offensive as a preemptive move to weaken the Taliban ahead of its usual “spring offensive,” though it seems to be provoking some major counterattacks.

It’s unsurprising, as the Taliban is much less seasonal in its activities than it once was, and the 2014 “spring offensive” never really ended in the first place. Afghan officials say the offensive will continue “until success is achieved.”

The Taliban and Afghan military have been fighting mostly to a draw in the nation’s south throughout the winter, and a feared new spring offensive by the Taliban might put the troops in full retreat. Still, the offensive seems to be provoking an escalation of Taliban attacks, not a weakening of them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.