Taliban trying to erode gov hold in a number of areas: CIA
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): The Taliban were unsuccessfully trying to erode the hold of the Afghan government in a number of areas, a top American spy master told lawmakers on Thursday adding that this summer season is witnessing an intense fighting between the Taliban and national security forces.
The Taliban were really trying to erode the government's hold in a number of areas the CIA Director, John Brennan, told members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence during a Congressional hearing on ISIS.
Brennan said the United States was working closely with the Afghans to have them better consolidate their forces so that they could protect the critical infrastructure in the cities and transit routes.
But the Taliban were determined, working with the Haqqanis, a subgroup of the Taliban. So there was continued concern about the Taliban's ability to carry out these attacks both in some of the outlying areas, but also as they tried to go after the provincial capitals, as well as Kabul, Brennan said.
“It is still uncertain in my mind whether or not the Taliban is going to continue to make incremental progress,” he said adding that the US was providing support to Afghan intelligence partners so that they have the capabilities that they need.
“But there was still a long, hard fight ahead in Afghanistan for the Afghan government,” he acknowledged.
Brennan said during the height of this fighting season, the number of casualties on both sides in terms of the ANSF, the Afghan National Security Forces, and the Taliban were greater this year than seen in a long, long time because of the number of engagements.
The CIA director believed the Afghan forces were stepping up and engaged in the fight more, as U.S. forces have drawn down. But also “I think it reflects the intensity of the Taliban efforts,” Brennan said.
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