Afghans Question Govt’s Security Strategy amid Taliban Advances

Ordinary Afghans and critics on Saturday strongly criticized the Afghan government’s security strategy as the Taliban take over two provincial capitals within the span of only two days.

They said that the so-called public uprising forces have not played any crucial role in repulsing the Taliban’s military advancement towards major cities and strategic locations.

Footage on social media shows dozens of Afghan security forces along with their military equipment and vehicles are driving towards the border with Iran, leaving Zaranj city, the center of Nimroz province in southwestern Afghanistan, without any resistance.

“Poor leadership and lack of coordination in the past several years have led to this crisis,” said MP Khaled Assad.

“I call on our people not be deceived by empty promises in the future,” Wali, a resident in Kunduz said.

Soon after their emergence a month ago, the public uprising forces were expected to help the Afghan government forces in their campaign against the Taliban.

But critics said that the battle in Sheberghan showed that the public uprising forces did not accomplish their tasks contrary to what was expected from them. Critics said that in Sheberghan, only the son of Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum and his loyal forces resisted against the Taliban.

“Where are these leaders who were raising their voice for posts and seats,” said Salim Sahel, a resident of Kabul.

A spokesman for Dostum meanwhile said that the government did not deliver sufficient equipment in Sheberghan to help the public uprising forces to fight the Taliban.

“Public uprising forces so far have not received the support of the central government and today we see the fall of Sheberghan city,” said Abdul Kabir Haidari, a member of National Islamic Movemnet of Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Marshal Dostum met with President Ashraf Ghani to discuss the overall security situation in the north.

“The main proposal of Marshal Dostum was the implementation of martial law in Afghanistan. The president today welcomed this suggestion,” said Ehsan Nairo, a spokesman to Dostum.

Three days back, President Ghani said that he has ordered the number of special operation forces to increase to to 45,000.

“The recruitment process of new commandos both from within the security forces and outside the structure of the security forces has started,” said Fawad Aman, a Defense Ministry spokesman.

Currently, around 20,000 officers are serving within the ranks of the Special Operation Forces.