Taliban storms base in northwestern Afghanistan

The Taliban has released yet another propaganda video that shows its fighters parading openly in broad daylight in an Afghan military base after overrunning it in a nighttime assault. Yet again, the Taliban occupied an overrun Afghan outpost for an extended period of time without fear of being targeted by Afghan or Coalition air or ground power.

The latest scenes are from a recent Taliban propaganda video titled “Conquests in Balkh.” The Taliban operations took place in the districts of Chimtal and Chahr Bolak. FDD’s Long War Journal has assessed Chimtal as contested, while the status of Chahr Bolak is undetermined.

The events shown in “Conquests in Balkh” are nothing new. Over the six months, the Taliban has released videos from the provinces of Nimroz, Kandahar, Helmand, Ghazni, and Paktika that detail Taliban successes. In all cases, the Taliban is able to loiter at bases and district centers for hours or even days without fear of reprisal.

The Taliban currently control or contest 45 percent of Afghanistan’s districts, according to a study by FDD’s Long War Journal. The group has been able to make significant gains in Afghanistan over the past several years in part because it is not being made to pay the price for assembling and operating in the open.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Jessie Michibata says:

    Nice video. Nice too to see my tax dollars at work providing, indirectly to be sure, Ford Rangers to the Taliban. Built Ford Tough no doubt. Now some of those Taliban boys don’t have to get all dusty riding their Pakistani and Chinese 150cc motorcycles in all that dirt.

  • Jessie Michibata says:

    Another ANA Hesco outpost has fallen to quick moving motorcycle riding Taliban. Can’t blame the handful of ANA troops in a hopelessly outnumbered situation such as this. Half are probably asleep. Another couple are under the influence of opiates. The few aware of what is about to happen;
    a. run
    b. throw their hands in the sky
    c. attempt to switch sides

    Many ANA, underpaid and poorly motivated put themselves in this position because it’s a paycheck. These men don’t have the luxury we have of sitting back objectively complaining without end of Pakistani ISI collusion. It’s just a job.

  • Glenn says:

    OK, I’ve ceased being blankly bewildered about the daylight freedom (or the nighttime, given our AC130 technologies) of our alleged enemy. I’m now looking for a payoff, since we’re dealing with a narcotics-driven failed state, and astronomical amounts of money. Are we trading the freedom of a Canadian family for this? What is the quid pro quo? Qui bono? Why??


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