Experts: Taliban Changes War Tactics, Steal Weapons

Addressing the recent spate of security threats in some regions of the country, some Afghan commentators said Monday that insurgents have changed their war tactics this fighting season and are making a point of seizing government-issued weapons.

Referring to this new practice by armed militants, officials from the Ministry of Defense (MoD) stressed that the Taliban are not however able to keep heavy weapons taken off government forces. However, they said insurgents are also being backed financially and militarily by regional intelligence services.

“It is an intelligence war. There are some people who provide them [insurgents] with funds and training. Whenever they capture vehicles from our forces, the Afghan air force destroys them and they [insurgents] get away with only some of the light weapons,” Dawlat Waziri, a deputy spokesman for the Afghan Defense Ministry said on Monday.

In the past, the Afghan government has pointed fingers at regional intelligence services who they claim are behind the ongoing insurgency in the country. However, many argue this point saying that this is only one side of the coin.

They say that by capturing check posts, weapons are stolen off Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and that often this is to prove a point in terms of their strength as they then use government issued weapons on the ANSF.

But some Afghan legislators say that this new tactic by insurgents needs to be dealt with quickly by government.

“This seems to be the Taliban’s new tactic, and the situation could become critical if the issue isn’t dealt with seriously,” MP Nazifa Zaki said.

Nevertheless, military analysts say that changing war tactics is part of the insurgents’ psychological war.

Over the past few weeks, insurgents launched major offensives on some northeastern parts of the country such as Yamgan district of Badakhshan, Chahar Dara and Dasht-e-Archi districts in Kunduz, Waigal district in Nuristan and Jaween district in Herat province. In these attacks, they managed to seize heavy arms and ammunition from Afghan forces – a move many believe is part of this year’s tactic.

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