4,000 Soldiers Desert Their Posts Monthly: Gen. Campbell

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General John F. Campbell, the Resolute Support Mission and the U.S. Forces commander in Afghanistan, said on Tuesday that at least 4,000 Afghan security force members are deserting their posts every month.

Speaking at a question and answer session titled Afghanistan’s Future at the Brooking Institution in Washington DC, Campbell criticized senior security officials in Afghanistan and said the main reason for troops deserting was because of a lack of a proper management of army and police personnel in the country.

But on a lighter note he said the Taliban has no other way except to join the peace process because they will not be able to topple the Afghan government through war.

“The number of Taliban insurgents that have been killed [this year] is probably three or four times higher than it was last year. The Afghan security forces are becoming casualties but again they inflict a lot of casualties. I think we do see signs of fracturing in the battlefield from the leadership, lack of supplies and lack of money,” he said.

He said the Taliban are tired of war and suggested they join the peace process.

According to Campbell, the Taliban had realized now the need for joining the peace process because the Afghan government was not going to fall to the Taliban.

Talking about the ability of the Taliban, he said “They are not taking territory they are not meeting any strategic level goals that they set out. They are going to take a district and they are going to lose it. They are going to take another district center but they are going to lose it.”

He stressed: “They [Taliban] are competing against Daesh now in parts of Afghanistan. Daesh pays more money to recommend to Daesh and takeaway from the Taliban.”

Meanwhile, an advisor to the four-star American general, who was also present at the session, noted the death of Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Omar had further paved grounds for the peace process
“With regards to Mullah Omar, what is important is that all sides continue to try to push towards peace,” Campbell’s political advisor Matt Sherman said. “I think that is the real drive that will continue.”

He however continued to say that peace would not happen in near future as he said the process would take years.

The remarks come as the National Unity Government (NUG) has no defense minister almost a year since it took power after a disputed election. Also, the parliamentarians have gone on summer recess while the war is going on in northern and other parts of Afghanistan.

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