Commander of Resolute Support Mission US Forces in Afghanistan Gen. Austin Scott Miller has admitted that the Taliban cannot be defeated despite a 17-year long US military operation in the war-torn country.
“This is not going to be won militarily,” Miller said, according to NBC News. “This is going to a political solution.“
The general added that he believes that “the Taliban also realizes they cannot win militarily. So if you realize you can’t win militarily at some point, fighting is just, people start asking why. So you do not necessarily wait us out, but I think now is the time to start working through the political piece of this conflict.”
“We are more in an offensive mindset and don’t wait for the Taliban to come and hit [us],” Miller stated. “So that was an adjustment that we made early on. We needed to because of the amount of casualties that were being absorbed.”
Since taking his command post in September, Miller has eliminated layers of approval for the troops advising pro-government forces. He has gave them the authority to make decisions and move quickly around the battlefield as the need arises. The number of troops and equipment deployed close to Afghan troops positions have been also expanded.
Nonetheless, according to the Pentagon, in August and September, Afghan Security Forces suffered 1,000 casualties. The Taliban is in offensive in multiple provinces across the country. Since the start of 2018, the group has successfully expanded its zone of influence and is now working to continue its efforts in this direction. So, it does look that the US is more in “defensive” position than in “offensive” in this conflict.