US warplanes are heading to Kunduz tonight as the Taliban offensive against the major northern province continues, and is adding to the reality that, despite administration claims the war “ended” in December, the US is very much still in combat in Afghanistan.
Officially, of course, US troops are just in Afghanistan for “training,” but in practice, US airstrikes are still as regular a part of the Afghan War as ever, and special operations forces continue to carry out ground combat operations.
It was easy for the administration to claim a “winding down” in December. After all, operations always calm down in the winter as many Taliban factions simply winter over in rural camps.
Now, with the Taliban launching a new spring offensive, the US is as usual ratcheting up its own operations, and the claims of training are ringing hollow indeed.
Indeed, in many cases the special forces are fuel for the airstrikes, as the administration can put a handful of them into a combat zone, nominally to “advise” the Afghan military, then launch airstrikes in the name of trying to protect them.