Europe's NATO Commander Promises Military Hardware

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NATO’s Allied Commander for Europe General Philip Breedlove said on Thursday that Afghan security forces, both ground and air, will be provided with more military hardware to fight the Taliban and Daesh.

Speaking during a two-day visit to Afghanistan, Breedlove said that NATO will never forget Afghanistan and that the Taliban has to end its campaign of violence.

Breedlove meanwhile considers Daesh a serious threat and expressed his concern over the spread of the group in parts of Afghanistan and stated that the Afghan forces will receive more equipment in order to help secure Afghanistan.

According to Breedlove, NATO assessments show that Taliban attacks have decreased by up to 20 per cent in the past few months. He said that about eight percent of land mine explosions had been foiled but that a large sector of society, both military and civilian, were victims of landmines blasts.

Breedlove believes that the Taliban is no longer able to continue the violence against the Afghan people and it is possible that the death of Mullah Omar will create further differences among group members.

Speaking at a press conference in Kabul, Breedlove said that “we all see the loss of the Taliban leader as an opportunity and as you all see as well as I, there have been struggles inside the Taliban and again that opens up opportunities, clearly also sometimes when an organization loses a leader, the new leadership comes in with a lot of energy to try to show that they are in charge and they are moving out and that they are making a difference and this may also affect what happens on the battle field,” Breedlove said.

The general spoke about his time with Afghan and U.S officials and he said that during his trip he visited southern and northern parts of the country. He praised the Afghan security forces’ performance and stated that Afghan troops, especially in the air sector, were performing well.

According to Breedlove the Taliban are still a serious threat to Afghanistan and efforts should be continued to eliminate Daesh.

“Clearly we are concerned about ISIL (Daesh), I think the leadership of this nation is concerned about ISIL, it is an emerging capability, it is not the powerful capability that it is in other parts of the world, but we are concerned about it and its presence – what it means,” said Breedlove.

However he did not comment on his country’s recent criticism over Pakistan in what they see as their failure to combat terrorism. He said that the only way to succeed in the fight against terrorists and achieve positive results in peace talks are if Kabul and Islamabad cooperate with each other.

Breedlove said that NATO officials in Afghanistan and Belgium will reassess the situation at the end of the fighting season – which will coincide with the onset of winter.

“We completely support both the president and CEO’s path forward here, we applaud the effort to try to bring the sides together [with peace talks] so that they can approach this in a single way, because again that is the way this has to be resolved,” Breedlove added.

Breedlove said that during his visit to Afghanistan he witnessed good progress and while visiting Maiwand 215 corps and the German military base in Mazar-e-Sharif he witnessed positive changes that had taken place recently.

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