Afghan officials are determined to not publish death tolls for their forces as they face major pushes from the Taliban. They do, however, admit that the casualties are higher than in any previous comparable period.
The record casualties were a bit more closely defied by Defense Secretary James Mattis, who said over 1,000 Afghan security forces suffered casualties in August and September. This was done to praise them for continuing to fight.
But they’re fighting and losing. The record casualties are not coming as part of some costly offensive by the Afghan government, but rather amid mounting losses. Afghan government control in the country is shrinking apace, and shows now sign of slowing, despite the eternal optimism of the Pentagon.
One of the most immediate concerns with the casualties is that the Afghan government’s official troop figures have always been inflated. In reality, much of the army exists only on paper, and as very real troops suffer casualties, the remaining percentage of the military that is wholly imaginary only grows.
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