Amidst reports of the return of hundreds of American troops to help Afghan security forces in Helmand, the Ministry of Interior (MoI) on Wednesday said the U.S soldiers’ cooperation with Afghan forces on the battlefield is crucial.
“The presence of U.S troops in Helmand and other parts [of the country] – when they are needed – is in favor of Afghanistan and it will lead to the defeat of terrorism,” said MoI spokesman Sediq Sediqqi.
Hundreds of U.S troops will reportedly join ANA troops in Helmand at the end of this month but their exact number is not certain so far.
Meanwhile, the U.S Defense Intelligence Agency Director Vincent R. Stewart said in a recent speech on Worldwide Threat Assessment that the Afghan security forces are faced with a big challenge after shouldering the security responsibility countrywide.
He said: “In 2015, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces [ANDSF] took primary responsibility for security in Afghanistan for the first full year. The Afghan National Army conducted several independent multi-corps operations against the insurgency in diverse regions of the country.”
“Security forces also successfully secured almost all provincial capitals and national lines of communication, to include major highways. A positive development in the evolution of the ANDSF is the use of special operations forces to effectively respond to terrorist threats and to deny safe havens to networks across the country, albeit with coalition support,” he added.
Some analysts meanwhile said the early withdrawal of U.S troops from battlegrounds in Afghanistan left the Afghan security forces with an increasing challenge in their war against insurgent groups.
“I think the U.S should not have withdrawn its troops from Afghanistan – without a serious assessment of the situation in the country. Now the U.S has realized its mistake [it has made in this regard]” said university lecturer Nasrullah Stanikzai.
MP Fawzia Kofi said the Afghan forces need the support of U.S troops.
She said: “I think it will be better if U.S helps and assists Afghan forces instead of bringing its troops to the battlegrounds in Afghanistan.”
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces took full responsibility for the country’s security in January 2015. Since then, it is believed that they have faced growing challenges in tackling the increasing threat by terrorists.