Attacks by the Taliban and infiltrators rose 37 and 82 percent, respectively, in the first quarter, according to the US watchdog.
Deadly attacks on the Afghan military increased in the first quarter of the year, with insider attacks increasing 82% as US and NATO troops begin to withdraw from the country after 20 years, according to a American watchdog.
In a quarterly report released on Friday, the Special Inspector General for the Reconstruction of Afghanistan (SIGAR) found that attacks on Afghan security forces, mainly by the Taliban rebel group, increased by 37% between January and March compared to the previous year.
Insider attacks – that is, when security forces are targeted by Taliban infiltrators in their ranks – have jumped 82% and their losses have doubled, read the report without specifying.
“The complete withdrawal of US troops and US defense companies from Afghanistan will test whether the Afghan national defense and security forces can support and defend the Afghan government without direct military support from the US and the coalition The report says.
The SIGAR report did not specify the total number of victims, saying the data is classified.
But according to figures from the US-led military coalition, 115 Afghan servicemen were killed and 39 wounded in 31 internal attacks in the first three months of this year.
Since the US-led invasion in 2001 and the overthrow of the Taliban government that followed, the activities of armed groups declined and then began to expand again as the conflict dragged on for about 20 years. Today, as the withdrawal date draws near, even US officials publicly admit that they do not know the strength of the Taliban.
“In many ways, the Taliban are in a stronger military position now than at any time since 2001, although many formerly public measures related to the conduct of the war have been classified or are no longer produced.” , we read in the report.
He calculated that the Afghan government controlled only 54% of these districts as of October 2018, the lowest number recorded since the start of public monitoring in November 2015. Among the remaining districts, the US government described 34% as disputed and 12% as rebels. control.
The report notes that the Afghan government and in particular the Afghan security forces remain heavily dependent on US support, both in terms of financial aid and manpower.
“The fundamental risk facing the current and potential Afghan government after the peace is whether future levels of foreign aid during this uncertain time will be sufficient to prevent its collapse,” said John Sopko, head of SIGAR.
The pullout will involve approximately 2,500 US military personnel, 7,092 other US-led coalition forces and 16,832 civilian contractors for the Pentagon who were in the country at the start of April.
Some contractors are essential to keeping Afghan army planes in flight, the report notes.
A recent report by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs noted fighting across the country, with some 90,000 people displaced since the start of this year alone. Since 2012, some 4.8 million people have been displaced from their homes and have not been returned to a country of 38 million people.
Nearly 50,000 Afghan civilians have been killed along with more than 2,000 American troops in the 20 years of war – the longest overseas war for the United States.