The estimate has tripled from 20,000 a few years ago. However, one US official somehow remains “hopeful many fighters are not ideological and will eventually lay down their arms,” despite the fact that the Taliban has demonstrated a commitment to the fight for over 16 years.
SIGAR countered with evidence that shows how Resolute Support marked elements of the draft report that it did not want disclosed as “not releasable to the public,” and followed up with the US military on the classifications.
The DoD would not be suppressing information on Taliban district and population control as well as key metrics on the Afghan security forces if the fight was going well.
The designation of Taliban leaders on the Peshawar Shura highlights the continuity of the Taliban-al Qaeda relationship in Afghanistan and Pakistan that has endured more than 16 years of war against the US and its allies.
The attack forced the charity to temporarily shut down its offices across the country.
The Pakistan government often criticizes US airstrikes that kill members of the Afghan Taliban, including Haqqani Network leaders.
The last five US counterterrorism strikes have all taken place inside Pakistan’s Kurram tribal agency. The Afghan Taliban, including the Haqqani Network, is known to operate inside Kurram and use it as a base to attack Afghanistan.
In a conversation with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, the Pakistani military claimed CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel said the idea that the Taliban uses Pakistan as a safe haven is “undermining … Pakistan’s contributions in war against terrorism” in Washington.