Afghan government may fall to Taliban once US troops withdraw

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by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – The Afghan government may well fall to the Taliban after the US completes its military withdrawal in August, a US government watchdog reported on Wednesday. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) Afghan security forces are ill-prepared to resist the Taliban militarily, the Voice of America reports.

Charged with monitoring events on the ground, SIGAR said in its report that the situation looks “bleak” for the Afghan government. The report was published despite a number of cautiously optimistic assessments by high-ranking military officials and Afghan leaders, VOA said. “The overall trend is clearly unfavorable to the Afghan government, which could face an existential crisis if it isn’t addressed and reversed,” Special Inspector General John Sopko said in the SIGAR report.

“The ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) has retaken some districts and the Afghan government still controls all 34 provincial capitals, including Kabul,” Sopko added. “But from public reporting, the ANDSF appeared surprised and unready, and is now on its back foot.”

The SIGAR report warns there is no evidence the Taliban will cease their campaign of violence. “Despite continued calls from U.S. officials for the Taliban to reduce its levels of violence in line with their commitments in the U.S.-Taliban agreement … the Taliban have not done so,” the report said.

In any event, VOA notes, the Biden administration has been careful not to underestimate the severity of the conditions facing the Afghan government: officials have confirmed US airstrikes in support of Afghan forces will continue until the Taliban reduce their attacks.

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