KABUL: The US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin says that the Afghan army needs to slow Taliban’s momentum before they try to retake the areas they lost in recent months.
“The Afghan army is strengthening positions in the main populated centers,” Austin said Sunday in Alaska. “To prevent Taliban’s advance, I think they should first slow their momentum.”
He said he was sure that Afghan security forces have the ability and capacity to advance. “But let’s see what is going to happen.”
The government of Afghanistan enforced night curfew in 31 of 34 provinces this week with the aim of preventing Taliban’s advance.
Earlier, Gen. Mark Milley had said that Afghan army’s approach is to protect provincial capitals.
Milley said this week that Taliban are strategically powerful as they launch lightning attacks, but doubted if the militant group gets victory.
Taliban managed to capture more than 200 of 378 districts around the country after the United States announced early May to exit soldiers after 20 years so-called “war on terror”
Now, the Afghan army makes effort to prevent the fall of provincial capitals to Taliban, while the US air force bombarded Taliban’s positions in Kandahar and a few other provinces on Thursday.
The United States is committed to continue financial and diplomatic support for the government of Afghanistan once it has no soldier on the ground.