Advances by Taliban

TALIBAN attacked police headquarters and other government buildings in Ghazni in Central Afghanistan on Sunday and were threatening to seize control of the city, with the main highway now heavily mined, local lawmakers and residents confirmed. US aircraft conducted at least four air strikes and local media said around hundred people, mostly members of the security forces, had been killed.
Afghan government forces lost more than 200 officers and soldiers in fighting over the past three days as Taliban insurgents launched sustained attacks on four different fronts. Apart from Ghazni, in Faryab Province, 250 miles to the northwest, an isolated Afghan National Army base of 100 soldiers lost more than half of its men in a Taliban assault that ended early Sunday morning. The defenders said they did not expect to last another night. And 275 miles east of the Faryab base, in northern Baghlan Province, at a base at Jangal Bagh on the strategic highway between Pul-i-Khumri and Kunduz, insurgents killed seven policemen and nine soldiers and captured three other soldiers on Saturday. For nearly two decades the Government of Afghanistan, with the help of US and coalition forces, has been battling for control of the country against the ever-present threat of the Afghan Taliban. Districts have been retaken (by both sides) only to be lost shortly thereafter, largely resulting in the conflict’s current relative stalemate.
However, since the US drawdown of peak forces in 2011, the Taliban have unquestionably been resurgent. The United States introduced a new Afghan policy last year with focus on renewed use of force and Washington also increased its troops in Afghanistan. But since then, there are consistent reports that the Afghan and occupation forces are suffering losses and defeat in different regions and losing control of territories. This is clearly indicative of the fact that the new strategy is not working and the US will have to change its approach if it really wants restoration of peace there. The only way to achieve that objective is to engage Taliban in substantive talks.

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