Embattled Afghan security forces have been engaged in bloody battles with insurgent groups throughout 1394. Battles have raged on several fronts across the nation after the Taliban launched numerous offensives against security forces in the south and northern regions of the country.
Amid a deteriorating security situation, experts however stated poor leadership and mismanagement of the war were the main problems within the Afghan security institutions – which also led to the dramatic fall of the northern town of Kunduz to the Taliban for three days last year.
Analysts say that the geography of the war also changed during this period and that the Taliban displayed new tactics in the fight against Afghan forces.
Based on TOLOnews’ security report, more than 9,000 security incidents were recorded across Afghanistan during 1394 and the Afghan security forces launched up to 6,000 counterinsurgency operations.
1394 was also considered the year of survival for Afghanistan and the Afghan forces spent one of the toughest periods on the battlefields. But insurgents also extended their activities to include the collapse of Kunduz.
The Taliban, after fourteen years of armed struggle against Afghan forces, managed to enter Kunduz city on September 28 and kept the city under siege for three days.
The Taliban were ousted from the city after fifteen days – with the help of U.S air strikes. Even then, Taliban fighters held on to areas within the city for a few weeks.
TOLOnews’ security reports illustrate that overall 9,827 attacks were recorded across Afghanistan during 1394 and that the Afghan security forces also carried out 6,679 counterinsurgency operations across the country including 250 air strikes.
The insurgents also carried out 97 suicide attacks.
“If our steps are reaction based, for instance they attacked this or that area, so let’s react, then this does not mean that we have an upper hand,” said Mirza Mohammad Yarmand, former Deputy Minister of Interior.
Following the fall of Kunduz to the Taliban, the security situation worsened in Faryab province which finally forced President Ashraf Ghani’s first VP General Abdul Rashid Dostum to take command of security forces in the area and conduct an operation against the Taliban. They suppressed the Taliban and forced them to flee Maimana, the city center of the province.
In the south, Taliban managed to seize Musa Qala district of Helmand, while the war almost reached Lashkar Gah city center – raising huge concerns among the residents.
The situation in Baghlan also deteriorated and the Taliban posed major threats to Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shahabuddin district of the province as well as to Pul-e-Khumri, the city center of Baghlan.
“Management was weak. There were irregularities and lack of discipline to the limit that no one was ready to accept the orders of their superiors,” said Atiqullah Amrkhel, a military expert.
The emergence of Daesh in Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan was another cause for concern 1394.
Initially the government refused to acknowledge the existence of Daesh in Afghanistan but following bloody fighting between the Taliban and Daesh militants, Afghan officials confirmed that the brutal group had started activities in the country and were recruiting locally.
Based on TOLOnews’ security report, Helmand, Nangarhar, Faryab, Kunduz and Kandahar were the most insecure provinces while Bamiyan and Panjsher provinces were the safest.
“In the last year’s operations, our ground and air troops have killed 1,580 Daesh militants,” said an MoD official.
In 1394, the Afghan forces carried out military campaigns against insurgents in at least 22 provinces and stopped them from advancing. The fighting finally led Washington to change tactics on its draw down policy of U.S forces from Afghanistan and removed the zero troops option from the table.