In Afghanistan, the Taliban appear to have gained ‘strategic momentum’: General of the United States
The Taliban look to be gaining “strategic momentum” in their massive offensives across Afghanistan, but victory is far from certain, according to US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley.
Resurgent terrorists currently control almost half of Afghanistan’s roughly 400 districts, over 20 years after the US destroyed the Taliban rule in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, and with the withdrawal of US-led foreign forces all but complete.
Milley told a press conference that they don’t have any of the country’s heavily populated major cities.
Afghan army are “consolidating their forces” to secure those big metropolitan centers, he added, as militants put pressure on roughly half of the country’s provincial capitals.
“They’re taking steps to protect the population, because the vast majority of the population lives in the province capitals and Kabul,” Milley explained.
“A Taliban takeover by force is not a foregone conclusion.”
The Taliban are sweeping through Afghanistan, taking territory, controlling border crossings, and encircling cities.
Their accomplishment has put the Afghan army’s morale to the test, which has already been harmed by years of shockingly high casualties and, more recently, the withdrawal of US-led international troops.
Despite the fact that the Afghan army has been trained by international forces and outnumbers the Taliban, Milley believes that numbers alone are not enough to win a war.
“Will and leadership are the two most crucial fighting multipliers. And now it will be a test of the Afghan people’s resolve and leadership, as well as the Afghan security forces and the Afghan government’s,” he said.
A Taliban takeover is likewise “not inevitable,” according to US Vice President Joe Biden.
However, earlier this month, he emphasized that Afghans must unite against the Taliban, admitting that a single unified administration would be “very unlikely” to oversee the entire country.
Milley made his remarks just hours after the Taliban announced they would only fight to defend themselves during the Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha on Wednesday, but stopped short of proclaiming a formal ceasefire.
In recent years, terrorists have proclaimed a cease-fire with government forces around Islamic holidays, allowing Afghans to see their families in relative safety.
Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s leader, claimed over the weekend that he “strenuously favors” a political settlement to end the war with Kabul’s government.
The radical Islamist movement, on the other hand, is attempting to profit from the final stages of the crisis. Brief News from Washington Newsday.