Afghan Police Abandon Outposts, Facing Mounting Losses to Taliban

Interior Ministry official: Outposts are 'sitting ducks'

Faced with mounting losses in the face of Taliban offensives nationwide, the Afghan Interior Ministry has announced that a number of police outposts and checkpoints are going to be abandoned outright.

Officials say that the sites being abandoned, 210 already relinquished and 200 more identified for closure, are “sitting ducks” that don’t really contribute to security and just give the Taliban places to pick on.

The big upshot of this is that outposts the police couldn’t defend are often overrun by the Taliban, who loot arms from them. Presumably the Afghan police will take the weapons when they withdraw from these. It’s not clear, however, if the other sites are any better defending.

Either way this is a move long advocated by the US, who have argued the Afghan military wastes too much energy trying to defend the country and should just be helping with US offensives.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.