Report: Afghanistan 'on the brink of ruin' ahead of more US troops being deployed

A U.S.-based intelligence advisory organization, the Soufan Group, has issued one of the most pessimistic and alarming reports to date about the situation in Afghanistan.

Basically, the scale of the security problem far exceeds the level of commitment of U.S. troops to handle it, and the Afghan security forces are not up to the challenge of defeating the Taliban.

Daily Caller:

The situation has become so bad in the area the Marines are headed, one of Afghanistan’s most experienced Generals, GeneralAbdul Raziq, called for a Taliban “safe zone.” The safe zone indicates “he doesn’t believe he can hold the line in the south in the medium to long term,” according to Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Bill Roggio’s recent blog post in the Long War Journal.

Raziq’s call comes shortly after a Pentagon assessment of the U.S. Afghan mission painted a grim picture. The sum of the assessment basically amounts to two ideas: The scale of the problem is much larger than the current U.S. commitment, and the pace of the solution — training Afghan soldiers and then keeping them alive — is faltering dramatically.

The Pentagon also rated the U.S. backed Afghan Security Forces “promising but inconsistent” in their progress since the U.S. ended its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014. The Taliban now control more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since the U.S. effort began in 2001. The group has proven adept at surrounding and besieging major cities, while consolidating rural areas.

“Afghanistan remains perpetually on the brink of further violence and collapse,” U.S. based security intelligence advisory firm The Soufan Group warned Wednesday.

The security situation in the province Marines are headed too is particularly precarious. The Taliban appears to control nearly every major city in the province, except for the capital of Lashkar Gah. Lashkar Gah has come under repeated assault by Taliban forces, and has come dangerously close to falling throughout 2016.

If Lashkar Gah were to fall, it would mark the second time a major city has fallen to Taliban control since the U.S. invasion in 2001.

President Obama's inability to face up to the looming disaster is a deliberate oversight.  He had already ordered the troops home in 2014, and sending a large number of them back as might be the only way to salvage the situation would be admitting he made a mistake in the first place.  We see the same half-measures in Iraq in battling ISIS.  The problem with the president's current Iraq policy is that the power vacuum has been filled by Shia militias loyal to Iran.  In effect, the president's refusal to send more troops has enabled the Iranians to establish a firm foothold inside the Iraqi armed forces. 

This mess will land on Donald Trump's lap in eight days.  Will the new president cut our losses and completely withdraw or will he send the troops necessary to reverse the situation?  There aren't many other options to consider, given the parameters of the crisis and how it cuts to the heart of an independent Afghan government.  If Kabul cannot protect its own people now, when will it be able to?  This new report offers little hope that the situation will change anytime soon.

A U.S.-based intelligence advisory organization, the Soufan Group, has issued one of the most pessimistic and alarming reports to date about the situation in Afghanistan.

Basically, the scale of the security problem far exceeds the level of commitment of U.S. troops to handle it, and the Afghan security forces are not up to the challenge of defeating the Taliban.

Daily Caller:

The situation has become so bad in the area the Marines are headed, one of Afghanistan’s most experienced Generals, GeneralAbdul Raziq, called for a Taliban “safe zone.” The safe zone indicates “he doesn’t believe he can hold the line in the south in the medium to long term,” according to Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies Bill Roggio’s recent blog post in the Long War Journal.

Raziq’s call comes shortly after a Pentagon assessment of the U.S. Afghan mission painted a grim picture. The sum of the assessment basically amounts to two ideas: The scale of the problem is much larger than the current U.S. commitment, and the pace of the solution — training Afghan soldiers and then keeping them alive — is faltering dramatically.

The Pentagon also rated the U.S. backed Afghan Security Forces “promising but inconsistent” in their progress since the U.S. ended its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2014. The Taliban now control more territory in Afghanistan than at any time since the U.S. effort began in 2001. The group has proven adept at surrounding and besieging major cities, while consolidating rural areas.

“Afghanistan remains perpetually on the brink of further violence and collapse,” U.S. based security intelligence advisory firm The Soufan Group warned Wednesday.

The security situation in the province Marines are headed too is particularly precarious. The Taliban appears to control nearly every major city in the province, except for the capital of Lashkar Gah. Lashkar Gah has come under repeated assault by Taliban forces, and has come dangerously close to falling throughout 2016.

If Lashkar Gah were to fall, it would mark the second time a major city has fallen to Taliban control since the U.S. invasion in 2001.

President Obama's inability to face up to the looming disaster is a deliberate oversight.  He had already ordered the troops home in 2014, and sending a large number of them back as might be the only way to salvage the situation would be admitting he made a mistake in the first place.  We see the same half-measures in Iraq in battling ISIS.  The problem with the president's current Iraq policy is that the power vacuum has been filled by Shia militias loyal to Iran.  In effect, the president's refusal to send more troops has enabled the Iranians to establish a firm foothold inside the Iraqi armed forces. 

This mess will land on Donald Trump's lap in eight days.  Will the new president cut our losses and completely withdraw or will he send the troops necessary to reverse the situation?  There aren't many other options to consider, given the parameters of the crisis and how it cuts to the heart of an independent Afghan government.  If Kabul cannot protect its own people now, when will it be able to?  This new report offers little hope that the situation will change anytime soon.

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