General John Nicholson, the commander of U.S and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has said that the Taliban are trying to destabilize and destroy Afghanistan, but that the insurgent group will face setbacks on the battlefields.
“Taliban destroys Afghanistan, while the government and ANDSF work daily to build a safe, prosperous future,” said Nicholson.
“ANDSF were tested this year and they prevailed, testament to their courage, tenacity and resilience,” he said.
The statement comes a day after NATO wrapped up its foreign ministers conferences in Brussels where the alliance reaffirmed its continued support to Afghanistan.
Addressing the conference, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the Taliban has failed to reach their objectives in Afghanistan.
He said the alliance will continue to train and support Afghan security forces fighting “terrorism” on the ground.
He also spoke about insurgency and said the security situation in Afghanistan is complicated.
“These are clear signals of the continued commitment of the international community. The security situation in Afghanistan remains difficult but the Afghan Security Forces are responding with great bravery and professionalism.
“NATO Allies and partners continue to support them politically, practically and financially. In return, Afghanistan made commitments to step up reforms and improve governance. We will review all these mutual commitments today,” he said.
Meanwhile, Afghan minister of foreign affairs Salahuddin Rabbani hailed NATO partnership with Afghanistan and urged the international community to help Afghanistan provide the necessary weaponries to Afghan forces.
“I reiterated the appreciation of the people and the government of Afghanistan for our NATO partners’ renewed commitment to continue contributions for the financial sustainment of the Afghan national defense and security forces until the end of 2020. We also commend the valuable work being done by the NATO Resolute Support Mission in training, advising and assisting our national security institutions,” said Rabbani.
On the war against terrorism he said: “Our fight against terrorism is a work in progress. And we underscore continued international support to enhance the capability of our forces in the way forward, including the provision of necessary enablers.”
NATO also urged the Afghan government to deliver on its reform promises.
In the meantime, Army Chief of Staff General Qadam Shah Shaheem said that extensive efforts are underway in the ministry of defense to eliminate corruption.
This comes after Nicholson said a few months ago that corruption and poor leadership were the two main challenges currently facing the Afghan security forces.