Pentagon says Afghanistan's security deteriorates in 2015

US Department of Defense says Afghanistan security weakens in second half of 2015, as Taliban attacks reach 14 year peak

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Afghan security forces stand guard at the entrance gate of Kandahar Airport where Taliban stormed on late Tuesday, in Kandahar, Afghanistan on December 9, 2015

The United States Department of Defense presented a report to Congress on Tuesday indicating that the Taliban had conducted more attacks in 2015 which resulted in Afghanistan’s security worsening in the second half of the year.

In the report, the Pentagon said that the casualties suffered by Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) rose 27 percent from January 1 to November 15 when compared to the same time frame as the previous year.

The Pentagon stressed that the US had said, a year ago, that Afghan’s military personal was already unsustainable.

Recently, the Taliban conducted an attack on Kandahar Airport that killed 50 civilians, police and security personnel.

For months, the militant group has been fighting ANDSF in Helmand province.

However, the Pentagon has also praised ANDSF’s efforts in fighting the Taliban, which retook the fallen northern city of Kunduz.

According to the report, ANDSF "remain[s] reactive" against the Taliban’s attacks in Helmand and Kunduz.

"This allows the Taliban to foster the impression that the ANDSF cannot control key population centres," the report said.

The report also states that the Afghan people are still 70 percent confident with the ANDSF in their fight against the Taliban, although there has been a slight drop from March, when it was 78 percent.

The Taliban has raised the number of effective attacks in the first months of 2015 by 4 percent compared by 2014.

The attacks peaked in June and July, when Taliban conducted more than 1,000 attacks.

"Insurgents are improving in their ability to find and exploit [Afghan Forces'] vulnerabilities, making the security situation still fragile in key areas and at risk of deterioration in other places," it said.

The Pentagon’s report also cites a threat from DAESH in Afghanistan, however the group’s strongholds are still weaker than they are in Iraq and Syria.

DAESH has seized small terrains from the Taliban in Nangarhar province, where it attacked a UN vehicle and struck 10 Afghan security forces in September, the report says.

"The group continues to recruit disaffected Taliban and formerly Taliban-aligned fighters, most notably the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan," the report stated.

Pentagon says that Al Qaeda is focusing to reconstitute its ability to strike the West, when it alarmed an operation camp in Kandahar in October.

US President Barack Obama had decided to withdraw almost all US forces from Afghanistan, earlier in the year.

However, the increased number of attacks and clashes led Obama to reverse his decision and maintain a force of 9,800 troops through 2016. In 2017, Obama plans to increase those numbers to 5,500.

Since the war in Afghanistan started in 2001 approximately 2,300 American troops have been killed. 

TRTWorld and agencies