— Long War Journal (@LongWarJournal) October 9, 2017
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.