Cowan: Taliban Still a Force to Be Reckoned with in Afghanistan
Lt. Col. Bill Cowan (Ret.) appeared on "America's News Headquarters" today to react to a surge of violence in Afghanistan, one month before U.S. combat missions in the country are supposed to come to an end.
Just today, Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attacked a foreign guesthouse near parliament in the Afghan capital of Kabul, killing at least two foreign aid workers.
Cowan said this proves despite all the money, time and lives invested in Afghanistan, unfortunately, the Taliban is still a force to be reckoned with.
This attack is them showing both their allies and enemies that they intend to be the dominant force throughout Afghanistan, Cowan explained.
He pointed out that although there will only be 9,500 U.S. troops left in Afghanistan in one month, those troops will be able to run raids and use more aggressive air support, according to a change in policy by new Afghani President Ashraf Ghani.
At the end of the day, though, the burden has to be on the Afghan army and police, Cowan said.
Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai confirmed the ongoing attack on the guesthouse, but declined to comment further.
The Taliban said in a statement that it had launched the suicide attack on "a secret missionary center" in the city's west. The militants have waged a series of large-scale attacks on Kabul in recent days, including an assault in the upscale Wazir Akbar Khan district home to embassies and international agencies and the suicide bombing of a British embassy vehicle. There have been about a dozen attacks in the past two weeks alone.
Violence rages on outside of Kabul as well as U.S. and NATO troops are set to officially conclude their combat role in the country at the end of the year. On Saturday, Taliban attacks killed at least 11 Afghan soldiers in southern Helmand province, including one on a base once held by NATO forces, said Omar Zwak, spokesman for the provincial governor.
The Taliban has been launching assaults since Thursday on the base, once known as Camp Bastion until the British handed it over last month. Camp Bastion also once held Camp Leatherneck, a U.S. Marine base in the volatile southern province.
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