The mapping of the Afghan war is ambiguous, but shows the Taliban’s interests

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Attempting to map a long war in Afghanistan has become an increasingly difficult task ahead of the planned withdrawal of all US troops.

Since the US-led aggression in 2001 and the subsequent overthrow of the Taliban government in Afghanistan, the rebellion has diminished and then began to grow again after 20 years of conflict. By the way, withdrawal with the completion date of summer is imminentEven US officials have publicly admitted to being in the dark about the strength of the Taliban.

“Many measures have put the Taliban in a stronger military position than at any time since 2001, but many previously published metrics related to the conduct of the war have been categorized or no longer developed. “The US Congressional Research Service in March warned.

This included data provided in approximately 400 provincial districts across 34 states in Afghanistan. The management of these districts was an important indicator in determining the overall management of the country.

In a final published report containing details of that level, a U.S. special inspector for the reconstruction of Afghanistan stated that the Afghan government controlled only 54% of those districts as of October 2018. It was. This is the lowest number recorded since public tracking began in November 2015. In the remaining districts, the US government states that 34% are in dispute and 12% are under rebel control.

In April 2019, inspectors said that NATO’s solid support mission under US command no longer evaluates district-level controls and “provides commanders with limited decision-making value.” Stated.But the decision is Promotion of Trump administration seeking negotiations with Qatar’s TalibanBill Loggio, who has been tracking the war for years, said it suggests that military authorities have stopped trying to avoid showing how bad things happened. ..

Loggio, whose Long War Journal is now run by a Washington-based hawkish think tank called the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, has been tracking conflicts for years based on the press and data he collected. It was. He believes that half of the country’s districts are currently in dispute between the government and the Taliban, with more than 120 fully controlled by the government and more than 70 fully held by the Taliban.

But even he admits that those numbers represent his best guess. Some government-owned districts sway back and forth in response to the Taliban attack. Others saw the government piercing the central headquarters and barracks, “when the police commander withdrew from the base, they were killed in an IED attack,” Roggio said. Said using.

“In many of the cases I disputed in these districts, the government actually controls only the district center,” Roggio said. “I think the map should actually look worse than it really is.”

Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defense, argued that Roggio’s numbers were “incorrect and far from reality.” However, he claimed without providing evidence that the Taliban dominates “more than 10 districts” in Afghanistan, which is “very remote in the country.”

Aman’s claim is about half of the minimum estimate of control in the Taliban area publicly provided by the United States in January 2016.

According to a recent report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, about 90,000 internally displaced persons have been reported as internally displaced persons earlier this year alone, with reports of fighting nationwide. Since 2012, about 4.8 million people have been displaced and have not returned to the country of 38 million.

Even Kabul, the country’s tightly guarded capital, is unsafe. Afghanistan’s UN support mission showed that Kabul suffered the most civilian casualties in 2020, killing 255 and injuring 562.

The worst violence came from targeted killings — For activists, journalists, judges and lawyers Because Washington has signed a contract with the Taliban. Afghan affiliates of the Islamic State group have claimed some of the killings, but most have not been acknowledged by any group, and there is only growing anxiety there.

Aman also argued that Kabul was unsafe, citing what he described as regular security patrols, checkpoints, and raids.

“The Taliban around the capital Kabul is less present than ever,” he claimed. “The people of Kabul have no worries.”

The US withdrawal, which begins in May, will see all combat units then leave the country. America’s longest war.. This could include the person responsible for calling and guiding the airstrike. Without strikes, Afghan troops are likely to face large-scale attacks, he said.

And the map changes again.

“They will have to integrate their lines. They will have to abandon the South,” Loggio said. They are broken up little by little. “


The Associated Press writer Rahim Faith in Kabul, Afghanistan contributed to this report.


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