Afghan security forces declining in number, United States inspector general report shows

Leroy Wright
May 3, 2018

"We have a shared interest in defeating Daesh [an alternative name for the extremist Islamic State group], we have a shared interest in counternarcotics, we have a shared interest in peace and stability in Afghanistan", Nicholson said.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking Tuesday with reporters in Washington, said that the despite the recent high-profile bombings and the new Taliban push, that effort was beginning to bear fruit.

Agence France-Presse's chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, who was killed along with several other journalists in the twin suicide blasts in Kabul on Monday, wrote this essay in 2016 for the AFP Correspondent blog, which also reveals his loss of hope for Afghanistan.

The U.S. also has deployed more military resources to Afghanistan in the first quarter of this year, Mr. Sopko reported, shifting more warplanes from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan and moving the first U.S. Army Security Force Assistance Brigade to the country to increase training capacity of Afghan forces.

"The murder of journalists and other innocent people is a great testimony to what it is we stand for and more importantly what we stand against", he said.

It said the Taliban and other militant groups control or influence 14.5 per cent of Afghanistan's 407 districts - the highest level since the group started recording such data in late 2015.

Afghan Authorities Condemns Murder of Nine Journalists in Double Attack
Agence France-Presse said the news agency's chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai , was among those killed. Earlier on April 25, Kabul News journalist Abdul Manan Arghand was shot dead by unknown gunmen in Kandahar.

"You'll notice that more of the forces are special forces, advised and assisted, accompanied by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mentors and these are the most effective forces".

He said the US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission will "stand by the Afghan government" and continue to pressure the insurgents to "drive them to a political settlement".

The report, released by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (Sigar), said that the number of security forces personnel decreased by about 10 per cent to just under 300,000 in the past 12 months. AFP despatched a textual content reporter and a photographer from Moscow straight away and earlier than you knew it, there have been a dozen of us. It found that the percentage of the populace controlled or influenced by the Afghan government increased to from 64 to 65 percent between October and January.

Many Afghans say they are fed up with the government's inability to protect civilians, especially after a long string of insurgent attacks in Kabul.

"Building up the Afghan forces is a top priority for the US and our worldwide allies, so it is worrisome to see Afghan force strength decreasing", SIGAR chief John Sopko said.

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