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Mattis Airport Attack Shows The Big Hole In US Strategy For Afghanistan


28th September 2017 - Quoted by Saagar Enjeti - The Daily Caller

An insurgent attack on Kabul International airport Wednesday during a high profile visit by Secretary of Defense James Mattis reveals the ability of militants to use rural safe havens to attack major population centers.

Both the Taliban and the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack that entailed firing dozens of rockets at the airport. U.S. and NATO officials arrived during this time in Afghanistan to discuss a prolonged western troop commitment.

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“Rural areas in Afghanistan are essential to the Taliban’s resilience and ability to consistently undermine Afghan security,” the Long War Journal noted recently, citing the insurgent group’s ability to use rural districts to mount attacks on urban centers. President Donald Trump has deployed an additional 3,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan to bolster the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), but it is unclear how much of an effect the troops can have. The Trump administration insists its strategy will be successful because they will crackdown on Pakistani safe havens and deny the Taliban an outright battlefield victory forcing it to the negotiating table.

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