Published: Thu, May 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

No justification for senseless act: White House on Kabul blasts

No justification for senseless act: White House on Kabul blasts

These figures represent a sharp decline in strength from the same period previous year: "the ANA saw a 4,818-person decrease, and the ANP a 23,210-person decrease, for a total of 35,999 fewer personnel in January 2018 compared to January 2017", according to SIGAR.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced in February that the government is willing to hold peace talks with the Taliban without preconditions if the Taliban stops committing acts of terror and accepts the Afghan constitution.

"There is no difference between terrorists, no matter if the crime committed by Islamic State, al-Qaida, Taliban, Haqqani network or other terrorist outfit".

The NATO mission to Afghanistan would continue till the time the Taliban are driven to a political settlement, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said today.

"The murder of journalists and other innocent people is a great testimony to what it is we stand for, and more importantly what we stand against", Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.

Several militants were also killed and wounded during the fighting in the district, south of provincial capital Faizabad city, but their number could not be exactly specified yet, he added.

At the start of March, about 7,800 USA special forces were in the country to train, advise, and assist Afghan troop, according to SIGAR.

"We'll stand by the Afghan people, we'll stand by the Afghan government and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation mission will continue as we drive them to a political settlement". Life appears to be much more tough than underneath the Taliban due to the insecurity.

US military officials have previously cited numerous serious problems that have contributed to demoralization in the ranks, including corruption and abuse by senior commanders, failure to pay salaries, ethnic tensions within units and in deployment areas, false payroll records listing "ghost soldiers", and poor leadership.

U.S. Forces-Afghanistan did recently release information related to population, control over land and other areas. We reject the Sigar report on numbers.

Many Afghans say they are fed up with the government's inability to protect civilians, especially after a long string of insurgent attacks in Kabul.

As of January 31, roughly 65 percent of the population lived in areas under government control or influence, up one percentage point since last quarter. And some experts believe that Afghan forces may never develop the will or capacity to defeat the insurgents or force them to negotiate.

"Building up the Afghan forces is a top priority for the USA and our global allies, so it is worrisome to see Afghan force strength decreasing", SIGAR chief John Sopko said.

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