NATO begins to gather forces.
The leadership of the North Atlantic Alliance appealed to the military department of the member countries of the alliance with a request to send an additional military contingent for Operation “Strong Support” in Afghanistan.
The initiator of these movements, of course, is the main “conductor” of the alliance – Washington. President of the United States Donald Trump and his military advisors are now considering sending three thousand troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the already existing 9,000.
We know the new military approach of Mr. Trump – the US will not be alone in conducting operations, especially in Afghanistan. Trump has already issued an ultimatum to NATO – each member state should raise its military spending to 2% of GDP and share the financial burden on the content of military power. Now NATO should assist the US in the Afghan operations, although they do not feel much desire for it.
It became known that the United Kingdom is preparing to send about a hundred soldiers to Afghanistan. The figure, of course, is small, but the query itself is indicative. NATO in fact recognizes the failure of all their military efforts in Afghanistan and begins to gather troops in attempt to fix the situation.
Over the few years, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated so much that it is necessary, in fact, to initiate the second intervention. In addition to the Taliban movement, the terrorist group Islamic State is gathering influence.
At the same time, Operation “Strong Support” is a non-combat mission to train and assist Afghan security forces. It involves almost 13,000 military personnel and civilian specialists from the NATO and Allied armies. Among them, almost 11 thousand Americans and 500 British. The British do not participate in the combat operations, they only train Afghan officers in the Kabul military academy, some of them operate in the province of Helmand and other places. Their tasks are security, medical care, logistics and communication.
Operation “Strong Support” began on January 1, 2015, when International forces withdrew from Afghanistan to promote security. This date is considered as the official end of the Afghan war of 2001-2014.
Since that moment, the Afghan army has operated independently and unsuccessfully. Corruption, tribal and clan contradictions, cases of desertion affected the troops. They have a very high level of combat losses. Only in the first two months of 2017, 807 fighters were killed and 1328 were wounded. The only thing that helps the situation is the fact that there is no unity between insurgents and terrorists. The Taliban, the Islamic State and other rebel groups are fighting apart, and even among each other.
The militants seize more and more territories. The government currently controls about 60% of the country. 11% of the territory are under the control of the Taliban, 29% – are disputed areas.
Recently, it was announced the beginning of the spring offensives. On March 8, Islamic State terrorists, disguised as doctors, attacked a military hospital in the heart of Kabul.
On April 21, the Taliban inflicted serious damage on the Afghan security forces, killing more than a hundred servicemen during the attack of the military base near Mazar-i-Sharif. After this defeat, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani replaced the commanders of four military corps.
Leaders of the NATO countries will gather for the summit in Brussels on May 25. One of the agendas is the discussion of expanding the military presence in Afghanistan. There is no doubt that under Washington’s pressure all participants will agree to send additional troops. However, Donald Trump is unlikely to stop at this level, because that is not enough to win the war, and we all know how much he likes to win.
By Ivan Konovalov