News | 8 January 2017, 08:53
The New York Times: Around 300 US Marines will return to Helmand this spring to help Afghan security forces in fight against Taliban.
An American military spokesman in Kabul said the Marines would replace an Army unit based in Helmand province offering training and advice to ANA and ANP.
Afghan security forces have welcomed the news but Taliban appeared no to be worried about the return of the Marines. “Our mujahedeen continued their progress in the presence of tens of thousands of Americans and other invading forces,” said Qari Yousef Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman. “A few hundred other soldiers won’t become an obstacle on the way of our progress.”
Despite heavy presence of foreign forces till 2014, Helmand province remained a stronghold for Taliban and the land of poppy cultivation. Obama sent 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan in 2010 to fight Taliban and there were around 20,000 Marines along with thousands of British soldiers In 2011.
Unlike the past, the fight between Afghan security forces and the Taliban has not diminished this winter and government forces were not able to pull back Taliban from the outskirts of several provincial capitals.
Weak leadership and corruption have undermined the abilities of Afghan forces and the Afghan government has to address it during this winter to tackle Taliban pressure as fighting intensifies in the spring.
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