Taliban declares victory in Afghanistan

I think they're being a little premature, don't you?

Bridget Johnson:

The Taliban in their statement said the ISAF withdrawal ceremony “went strangely unheralded in the United States and much of the world and then news surfaced that ISAF was going to arrange its big farewell ceremony in secret due to threat of Mujahidin attacks in Kabul!!!”

“It should be emphasized that due to the blessed Jihad most of the involved nations excluding America have withdrawn all of their troops from Afghanistan, nearly all the provinces have been cleansed from the vile presence of foreign invaders accept for Mazar-e-Sharif in the North and Nangarhar in the East as well as a small presence in the country’s capital and surrounding areas where the invaders are also working tirelessly to pull out as quickly as possible,” the Taliban continued.

The group added that the “without a doubt the defeat of the infidel Western military alliance in Afghansitan at the hands of a few empty handed believing Mujahidin, the destruction of fortified bases by their own hands and their hasty withdrawal were unconceivable and is a clear sign of the divine help of Allah Almighty.”

“While the admonitory withdrawal of foreign forces is taking place, the presence of their internal stooges is being rolled back from much of the country at the same time. Mujahidin are taking over new areas daily, dismantling their bases and are tightening their sieges,” the Taliban added, calling the “haughty invasion of the international infidel coalition” a “humiliating defeat.”

The Afghan army may be of uneven quality, but it hasn't lost yet, and the U.S. has 10,000 trainers in country who will do what we should have done in Iraq: raise the level of effectiveness of the army.  The Iraqi army backslid and became a victim of cronyism and corruption.  This made them an easy mark for Islamic State forces when IS invaded early this year.

Hopefully, that won't happen to the Afghan army.  But Talban cadres can strike with impunity just about anywhere in the country.  They may not be able to take and hold ground, but their terror attacks drain confidence in the national government and take away the will to resist. These attacks are almost impossible to stop and will be more of a challenge to security forces than holding on to provinces not already under Taliban control.