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Editorial

ANDSF’s aggressive approach essential to liberate occupied districts

Afghan security forces are seen near the site of an attack in a U.S. military air base in Bagram, north of Kabul, Afghanistan December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail

The US Defense Secretary LIoyd Austin has recently said Afghan National Defense and Security Forces should do more to prevent Taliban advances across the country.
Austin has added that to prevent collapse of major cities and populated areas, the ANDSF should fortify their positions. According to Austin, the Afghan forces should adopt such a strategy to prevent Taliban advances or at least reduce their violence.
The statements of Defense Secretary Austin mean return of ANDSF to defensive positions, a situation that in the last one year paved the way for increasing Taliban attacks and offensives and ultimately caused collapse of certain districts at the Taliban hand.
Following the signing of a peace agreement between the US and the Taliban, the ANDSF suspended their cordon and search operations and took practically active defensive position, but contrary to their commitment on reduction of violence and no advance towards populated areas, Taliban started their extensive attacks and drew the scope of violence, to the most secure areas.
Maximally, exploiting the ANDSF defensive gesture and suspension of their operations, in fact Taliban tried to extend geography under their control. With intensification of violence, collapse of certain districts, Taliban’s violations and their disbelieve to peace, the ANDSF resumed their offensives against the insurgent groups.
According to ANDSF officials, during the recent two weeks, as a result of ANDSF and public uprising forces, several districts were liberated from Taliban domination including Sheikh Ali and Sorkh-e-Porsa districts in Parwan, Kohhmard and Saighan district in Bamyan, Karokh district in Herat, Nejrab district in Kapisa province and Kaldar district in Balkh.
ANDSF and uprising forces have been alerted in many other occupied districts and upon receiving attack order, they will liberate further districts. The only existing problem is lack of coordination and synchronization among ANDSF and the local forces. If essential coordination is created and a precise planning is undertaken for recapturing and protecting of districts, no doubt, the ANDSF and local forces will be capable to restore government sovereignty in these areas.
One of the main issues is now that ANDSF simply liberate the occupied districts, but there is no proper planning for protection of these liberated areas, therefore some of the liberated districts are being reoccupied by Taliban.
So recapturing operations of districts and strategic locations must be continued. ANDSF must undertake and adopt precise planning and use local forces for their preservation. Under present circumstances, that large areas of the country have been practically under the enemy’s control, return to defensive position means suicide for the ANDSF, people and government.
In such conditions, it’s not logical and reasonable that over 300,000 strong equipped ANDSF forces be in defensive position and the enemies, motor-bike rider Taliban, take control of districts, villages, harbor ports, customs and strategic locations and rule over the 35 million Afghan people.
Therefore, all means of pressures must be taken to push back Taliban from the occupied areas and Afghans living under their territory should be liberated. People in Taliban held areas, suffering the most, and they are in dire need of public services. Liberation of the occupied districts, would not only push back the terrorists, but would also restore public services to the war-weary Afghans.

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