The Taliban fight may just be on its way to taking a new direction going by the latest NATO request to the UK and initiatives by the United States. According to BBC, NATO is understood to have requested the UK to send more troops to Afghanistan.
As at the moment, Britain has 500 soldiers stationed in the country to secure Kabul and train junior officers at the Afghan Officer Academy.
The request is said to have been made a couple of weeks ago, reports BBC.
A meeting between NATO’s secretary general Jens Stoltnberg and UK Prime Minister Theresa May is scheduled to take place on Wednesday where the subject will likely be discussed.
US Considers Sending more Troops
The request for the UK to increase its number of troops comes at a time when the US is considering increasing its military dominance in Afghanistan.
The current recommendation by the state department and US military is that the US increases its military by at least 3,000 troops to aide in Taliban fight.
The total number of NATO troops is 13,000 of which 8,400 are from the US.
The United States finalized its official operations in Afghanistan in 2014 but Special Forces have continuously supported the Afghan troops.
In February, the commander of US troops in Afghanistan Gen John Nicholson told a Senate committee there was “a shortfall of a few thousand”.
He added that it was vital for more troops to be added to eradicate the stalemate.
The UK has for 13 years been involved in the war against al-Qaeda and the Taliban, having begun in 2001 and officially halted in 2014. After 2014, most forces were sent back home, with about 450 left behind to train, advise and aide local Afghan forces.
50 additional soldiers were sent in July counter any terrorism activities and ensure there is efficient training.
New Spring Offensive
The need to increase number of troops has been partially triggered by a recent announcement Taliban announcement that it’s launching a spring of new attacks. The announcement was made just a week after they killed 135 Afghan soldiers in a military compound near the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif.
According to the group’s plans, they will make use of both military and political tactics, targeting mainly foreign officers.
The announcements seem to be more than just mere words, after having taken captive a district just a few kilometers to the west of Kunduz. The seizure saw thousands of families escaping from their homes.
Latest reports indicate that the Taliban are now in control of the main road heading to the east of the city, which is the main supply route to Kabul, Afghan’s capital.