Taliban storms fourth Afghan base this month

The Taliban stormed yet another Afghan military base overnight, this time in the western province of Farah near the border with Iran. All but three of the border policemen manning the outpost were either killed or captured, according to reports.

Farah is the fourth military base to fall to the Taliban in just the first six days of November.

The base, manned by an estimated 50 Afghan border policemen, “was the most equipped border post in the province and was responsible for securing the highway and border areas,” according to ATN News.

Local officials from Farah province said that 20 policemen were killed and 30 more were captured, while only three managed to escape. The Taliban looted the base and seized a large quantity of war supplies.

In a statement released on Voice of Jihad, the Taliban confirmed its forces attacked the base and claimed that it killed 30 policemen and captured 20 more.

The Taliban has met little resistance when targeting significant military outposts. Yesterday, the Taliban destroyed a newly established joint Afghan police and military outpost in Ghazni province, and killed 13 security personnel in the attack. Over the weekend, the Taliban killed eight Afghan soldiers and captured 16 more in an assault in Uruzgan’s provincial capital, and killed three policemen and captured 17 more after it overran a public order police base in Faryab.

The Taliban has been relentless in attacking Afghan security personnel across the country; its attacks are not relegated to one area or region. These attacks are having a significant impact on the morale of Afghan security forces. According to the latest report by the Special Investigator General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), “ANDSF [Afghan National Defense Security Forces] strength this quarter is the lowest it has been in the third quarter of the year since 2012.”

“The ANDSF strength decreased by 1,914 personnel since last quarter and by 8,827 personnel since the same period last year,” SIGAR noted.

The decrease in ANDSF force strength is attributed to several factors: casualties, failure to reenlist, and defections. However, most of the casualties that occurred between May 1 and Oct. 1, 2018 “came as a result of either checkpoint operations (52%) or patrolling (35%). Trends indicate that the number of checkpoint casualties is increasing while the number of patrol casualties is decreasing,” the military told SIGAR.”

This means that Afghan security forces are beginning to hunker down on their bases and reducing the number of offensive and presence operations that are designed to keep the Taliban reacting to the ANDSF.

The Taliban is responding by taking the fight to Afghan forces at bases and outposts, and is inflicting high casualties on the ANDSF. This is, in turn, leading to a decrease in the number of ANDSF personnel at a time when they are needed the most.

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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  • S R says:

    RS/NATO, the Afghan government and the ANDSF should adopt this strategy: Instead of the ANDSF always being on the defense, the Afghan police should be given the responsibility to defend, while the ANA and the ASF should go on a nation-wide, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, offensive against the Taliban. This strategy covers both the offensive and defensive aspects.

    The Taliban are always on the offense while the ANDSF are always on the defense. Right now the ANDSF are sitting like ducks waiting to be attacked, killed and looted by the Taliban. The ANA and ASF need to take the fight to the Taliban. The ANA and ASF are a big disappointment.

  • katut says:

    Where is the air power to help against these kind of attacks? Why are the terrorists not hit when they swarm these bases?

  • Dorian says:

    This is quite a bit of news. But more importantly are the following questions:

    – Where are all the US forces in this quagmire?
    – Where is Trump? Two years into his mandate, and yet the US are still in Afghanistan, time is running out for you Trump. Looks like another US Presidential loser.
    – If there are so many Afghani that are prepared to fight against the Afghan government, then the question has to be asked, “To whom does a country really belong to? To those whom are prepared to fight and die, or those whom are prepared only ‘to hunker down on their bases and [not fight]’ and of course just collect pay checks and leave Afghanistan to those whom really are prepared to fight for its sovereignty?”
    – The illegal invasion of Afghanistan by the Anglo-Judeo-Christian war mongering nations has now entered its eighteenth year. How many more years, no decades, does this war have to continue?

    The Afghanistan government is now losing hundred’s of either soldiers or police officers on every organized attack. The Taliban is virtually in control of the entire country except the capital city of Kabul. As this war continues, the Afghan fighters are showing more and more that they are braver and more capable than the entire Western Military and its technological might. What does this say about American cowardliness when they are not prepared to fight the Taliban as soldiers? What kind of soldier is it that, has to sit down and drink coffee while he (excuse me American ladies, I should say ‘she’ too, after all it appears that women now are capable to show their bravery too by pushing buttons – my oh my, things really are changing in the US, women and men are now equally as pusillanimous) missiles weddings, hospitals and schools from the comfort of his lounge chair? Is this the end of American and Western fighting spirit? It appears the Taliban are the greater warriors and more honorable soldiers, at least they fight with their blood on the line, whereas the Western soldier is only prepared to risk spilling his cup of coffee.

    The sham of American and NATO might is ever more becoming obvious. The pantomime displays of force that they are prepared to show in places like the Ukraine and Norway, are just that, pantomimes. Where puppet soldiers run around like marionettes pretending to inflict overwhelming force when in actuality, when the time for war comes, they cower away in the bunkers, drinking coffee and elicit cries of self inducing heroism when they face that mortal moment when they have to fearlessly push that button without spilling their cup of coffee! No wonder Trump and his Military are so sarcastic and indignant of the Taliban, and why not! The Taliban are the old kind of warrior; brave and heroic and fight for their country.

    The longer this war goes on, the greater the truth will become: the US fight only for when there is something to steal from somebody else, like a rampaging mob, the modern day version of Attila The Hun. The US goes around the world raiding and pillaging resources while they butcher and murder their way to protecting “Truth, Justice and the American Way” “Lies, Injustice and the American Way”.

    Apologies, I got carried away their for a moment, I got lost in my naive childhood reminiscence of Superman.

    Its funny isn’t it, how the US can change their moral stance. For 16 years the Taliban are evil, and they must be eradicated, totally. And now, with this crusade into its 18th year the US can now negotiate with those same evil people. I guess why not? If its all right for a US President to throw out International Treaties and rewrite the moral basis for wars and continuing wars, then shouldn’t it be alright too for the US to be treated like a savage wild animal? That’s what savages are aren’t they, they have no respect for agreements and treaties with others, and only look to satisfy their own self-serving needs and wants at the detriment of others.

    Indeed it is interesting where all this is heading. I wonder how long it will be before nationals of the US and Nato countries will no longer be welcome in countries where they are seen as butchers and thieves?

  • Morgan says:

    Depressing to read given that so many of us spent time advising, assisting, & attempting to develop these forces. But if they don’t want to apply the lessons we shared with them, they’ve earned their a$$-kickings.

  • Dennis says:

    My one concern at this time is, as these areas fall, the collapse point speeds up. will this be another bug-out at the last moment, ala saigon? Or are we deluding the crowd? It’s not shaping up to be an orderly “re-positioning of forces” moment.


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