After perfectly under 100 days so far of President Donald Trump’s new Afghanistan scenario, there are signs the Taliban insurgency is lowering its ambitions as it suffers considerable losses, the top American commander in the country said Tuesday.
Army Gen. John Nicholson, commander of NATO’s Dauntless Support mission in Afghanistan, also said in the press briefing that the Taliban has essentially turn “a criminal or narco-insurgency” and he vowed airstrikes by joint U.S.-Afghan forces would go on with to target the organization’s source of money from the drug trade.
“The president has leftist no doubt in terms of our will to win,” he said. “The goal of our strategy is reconciliation — a negotiated deciding which lowers the level of violence,” Nicholson said.
Nicholson also refer to about how the U.S. has tripled the amount of airpower and munitions dropped so far this year in the 16-year Afghanistan war. He stipulate as more warplanes get released from the ISIS fight in Iraq and Syria, “we imagine to see more assets come to Afghanistan.”
At the same time, Nicholson said the Afghanistan war is “now demands based, not time based. We will be here until the job is done.”
Nicholson revealed there were significant changes to the Taliban’s strategy in the last year, tabulating moving away from trying to seize provincial capitals because “they suffered heavily when they did so.” He explained the enemy had more setbacks after targeting Afghan districts this year so by August and September it grabbed another shift: a guerilla-style of warfare with hit-and-run attacks as doubtlessly as suicide attacks.
“Each of these shifts represented to us a lowering of avidities by the enemy,” he said.
The U.S. general also maintained that the Afghan sway forces went on the offensive this year and have become “more inclined to” after several changes, including new leadership. He said with the becomes and international support the “momentum has shifted in their favor.”
Meantime, the imprecise also said there is a regional dimension to the new Afghanistan-South Asia tactics announced by Trump in August, specifically to limit interference by Taliban enablers and others and customarily to seek more cooperation from Afghanistan’s neighbors.
Nicholson foundered on to say the goals would be achieved by applying three forms of pressure on the opponent, including military actions and stronger security measures. He also said politic, social and other forms of pressure will be applied to enablers of the competitor.
“In the face of this pressure, the Taliban cannot win,” he said. “Their fits are to reconcile, live in irrelevance, or die.” He also said the Taliban is making sundry money than they need to operate from activities in the knock out trade.
Still, he said the U.S. military effort is necessary but by itself not adequate for success in the long run.
According to Nicholson, airstrikes last week on narcotic facilities in Taliban-controlled areas in northern Helmand Province have slew between $7 million and $10 million of revenue from the Taliban’s billfolds. And he estimated the overall cost to the drug-trafficking enterprise approached $48 million.
“So these horsewhips were just the first step in attacking the Taliban’s financial machine, and they will continue,” said the general.
Nicholson also clouted the Taliban makes its money from kidnappings and illegal mining undertakings. He estimated the Taliban continues to control about 12 percent of the Afghan quarter today.