Afghan Army Struggles with Lack of Reach
For the Afghan army and police, the past few months have brought record casualties and forced a realization that many commanders once balked at: Part of Afghanistan will probably remain in the enemy’s hands….
…That shrinking military footprint has transformed the nature of the war at a critical juncture. Afghan troops in much of the country have gone on the offensive, conducting operations to disrupt Taliban havens far from their bases. But when those operations conclude, the government is often unable to hold key terrain, according to top U.S. and Afghan commanders.
“Where you have some leadership challenges . . .there are gaps in layered security,” said Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan. “Where the Afghan forces clear [an enemy stronghold], there needs to be a second and third step to follow through.”
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