Trump’s acquiescence to Pakistan, which has backed the Taliban’s deadly insurgency in Afghanistan, occurs less than two years after he accused Pakistan of providing “safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror”. Trump also said Pakistan returned billions of dollars in US aid with “nothing but lies & deceit.”
Security in Badakhshan has gradually worsened over the past five years since the Afghan military and police took full control of security in the province. Al Qaeda and other foreign terrorist groups have a significant presence in the northern province.
The Taliban has used female suicide bombers in the past. Years ago, a wanted commander known as Qari Zia Rahman established training camps to indoctrinate women and young girls to carry out the gruesome attacks.
The weapons and gear were seized during an ambush that killed dozens of Afghan commandos in the northwestern province of Badghis earlier this week. Additionally, the number of commandos who are reported to have been killed has risen to 35.
US military and diplomatic officials have claimed that attacks such as these are designed by the Taliban to increase its leverage in so-called peace talks with the US. In reality, the Taliban has all the leverage it needs. The Taliban is preparing the ground for the next stage in the war by targeting and weakening Afghan forces in major cities and outlying areas.
The commandos are the most effective Afghan military formation and are at the tip of the spear in the fight against the Taliban. Yet they often take heavy casualties while battling the Taliban.
Pakistan is a state where those who push the bounds of what is acceptable to the military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, including jihadists, politicians, journalists, and activists, end up missing or are found murdered. Pakistan has weathered nearly two decades of international condemnation over Saeed and Lashkar-e-Taiba, yet he and his terrorist entities have not only survived, but thrived.
Afghan officials confirmed the Taliban took the district after security forces retreated. Paktika is in the sphere of influence of the Haqqani Network, the influential Taliban subgroup that is closely allied with al Qaeda as well as Pakistan’s military and Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate.