Taliban videos shows fighters occupying base, outposts in Afghan north

Yet again, the Taliban has promoted another propaganda video flaunting its fighters occupying a military base and several security outposts in broad daylight without fear of retribution or targeting by Afghan and Coalition air or ground power.

The latest Taliban video came from the district of Chimtal in Balkh province in northern Afghanistan and appears to have been shot last week. Taliban fighters were shown milling around the bases without fear of reprisal. Some were communicating on their radios. The Taliban flag flew high over the bases.

In a statement released on Sept. 11 on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban claimed its fighters overran “15 posts and 1 base in [Chimtal] district” and killed 13 Afghan security personnel.

An Afghan official told TOLONews that at least four security outposts in Chimtal fell to the Taliban on Sept. 11 after Afghan soldiers were withdrawn from a base in the district. The unnamed official also claimed the base was torched before the Afghan troops withdrew. However, in the Taliban video, there was no evidence that the base was set aflame.

Ironically, the spokesman for Balkh’s police force “rejected the allegations and said no outpost had fallen to militants in [Chimtal] district,” TOLONews reported.

Taliban videos such as the one from Chimtal have become all too common over the past two years. The Taliban has repeatedly demonstrated that it can mass its forces, attack and often defeat Afghan forces stationed at remote outposts and bases in Afghanistan’s rural areas. Over time, these attacks have had a demoralizing effect on Afghan police and military units. In some cases, Afghan security forces surrender their bases without a fight, and in others, security personnel surrender to the Taliban after failing to receive reinforcement and resupply.

The Taliban currently contests or controls 61 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, while Pakistan continues to provide safe haven and support to the Taliban’s leadership and its fighters.

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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  • Paddy Singh says:

    The Americans and Afghans no longer have the will or the courage and discipline to fight the Taliban and it looks like the latter, who know that they can take over the country in one go, would rather toy around with the former and mentally kill them. Today’s American foreign policy is more the loud vulgar bark with no bite at all. It does happen to a country that has not won a war since the 50s.

  • Sid Finster says:

    Paddy is correct that the Americans can’t win.

    The problem is that America can’t leave, either, or the screams of “Trump lost Afghanistan ZOMG save r gurls from Taliban ZOMG Putin puppet! ZOMG!” will be deafening. This, even though nobody in the US really cares about Afghanistan that much, but they do care very much about scoring points.

    So the American military tries to muddle through and put as few men and resources into this charade as possible, and hopes that nobody pays attention to the fact that the Kabul government’s writ now only runs in the major cities, and that only sometimes.

  • Donald A Thomson says:

    Since the 50s, the USA has defeated Grenada, Libya, Panama, Iraq, the Bosnian Serb Republic, Yugoslavia, Ukraine and Sudan (South Sudan is an independent basket case because they were only united in fighting the Sudanese government; the USA didn’t create that problem). [email protected]

  • BobD says:

    Ah yes, the spoils of war. A couple hundred yards of hescos and FEMA trailers. Good job goat rapers, you are well on your way to Kabul now!

  • Correction says:

    Actually the US and the UK won the war in Iraq. The US and the UK accomplished their 3 objectives in Iraq of taking out Saddam Hussein, wiping out ISIS in Iraq, and setting up NATO bases in Iraq.

  • Baz says:

    Maybe the USАF is regularly targeting and air striking the ТаliЬаn targets and regularly Кilling hundreds of them, but the Таlibаn is hiding all that from us, and only showing us videos of the few cases (like this one) when they are not being targeted by Air Force? Maybe Bill Roggio hasn’t considered the possibility that videos like this show the exception to the rule while in reality ТаliЬаn may be getting blasted by Air Force the majority of the times when they openly gather like this?

  • Alex says:

    So, point has been made that the ANA on their own isn’t holding it down. The implied message from LWJ is we (meaning US/ISAF) should increase our force. This WOULD remove the Taliban from those areas, but my question is, then what? Are we in the business of governing Afghan provinces forever? At a certain point we need to let ANA sink or swim.

    If there’s blatantly obvious Taliban/AQ/ISIS targets out in the open, by all means let’s drop some freedom on them, but again, at what point are we going to say this is now an Afghan problem and not our problem?


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