Taliban attacks in numbers amidst Afghani political stalemate
Friday, August 22, 2014
On Tuesday President Hamid Karzai called for an end of a two month election dispute that has seen the two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani, both claim to have won the election. reported the turn out of eight million was at odds with the widespread lack of activity reported in polling stations during the vote. Each of these votes is now being individually checked in a process involving international observers in a full audit of the ballot papers. This process started in mid-July, with a target late this month for completion, allowing time for the new president to attend security talks with NATO.
A spokesman for President Karzai indicated, according to United States which would keep a small number of US troops in the country until 2016, leaving the Afghan forces without support in their struggle against the Taliban., the political stalemate has had a detrimental effect on the security situation in the country, with a corresponding increase in Taliban activity. NATO forces are expected to leave the country, subject to the security talks, and outgoing President Karzai has declined to sign a security deal with the
The spokesman said the Taliban were acting more as a battalion, citing foreign reinforcements as the source of their apparent new-found strength. The militants are reported to be attempting to take and hold ground, targeting key areas to secure opium export, the source of much of the insurgency's funding.
Recent examples of the Taliban's new tactics include an attack from a group of 700 Taliban, in Kabul, the governor of the province told Reuters. An Afghan general, quoted by Reuters, said, "Airpower by the foreign troops is the key component to this battle and we have lost many men simply because we couldn't ask our foreign partners for air strikes". In the past similar group attacks have been fended off with the support of air power provided by the , with minimal casualties to Afghan security forces.near the capital,
- Karlos Zurutuza. "Stab in the Back for Painful Afghanistan Election Process?" — , August 20, 2014
- Al Jazeera and agencies. "Taliban launches major Afghan offensive" — , August 19, 2014
- "Karzai Urges End to Afghan Election Stalemate" — , August 19, 2014
- Hamid Shalizi. "As Taliban push quickens, Afghan troops ordered: take no prisoners" — , August 18, 2014