ANDSF casualty rate extremely worrisome

Monday, 29 May 2017 02:53 Written by  Heart of Asia Read 190 times

The Taliban have largely changed their strategy of spring offensive this year. Until last year, the militant group mostly preferred to launch complex attacks in major cities in a bid to attract media attention, and spread fear among people in cities. However, the militants’ concentration in their spring offensive is to storm the bases of Afghan forces, as well as to launch simultaneous attacks against different areas of a province. 

 

The new Taliban tactic is very challenging for Afghan government from two aspects. It disrupts the government’s military concentration on the one hand, and inflicts a record level casualties on Afghan forces on the other hand. Additionally, it forces the government to avoid being on the offensive, and the causalities of Afghan forces increase while they are on the defensive. 

While Afghan forces are still paying a high price for weak leadership and widespread corruption, any shift in the fighting tactics of the Taliban and other insurgent groups can have grave consequences for Afghan forces. Government leaders, especially the heads of the security apparatus, should not underestimate this threat, and must bring effective changes in their approach and war management strategies as required by the nature of today’s warfare. 

Following the launch of Taliban’s spring offensive, the security situation of a relatively stable Kandahar province in the country’s south has deteriorated. The rebels have reportedly attacked three large bases of Afghan National Army (ANA) only last week, causing heave casualties among Afghan soldiers, with some reports showing the deaths of up to 60 Afghan soldiers in a week. Such attacks signify a shift in Taliban’s tactics on the one hand, but highlight a weakness in the leadership of Afghan National Defense and Security Force (ANDSF) on the other hand, which is not yet able to bring appropriate changes in its war management tactics.

The continuity of ANDSF casualty at such high level is on no account tolerable. Afghan forces who are viewed as the only hope for a bright future and a stable Afghanistan should be extricated from the status quo, and their casualties preventedat any cost.