Yesterday, April 25, the Taliban released a statement outlining plans for a 2018 spring offensive; “Al Khandaq Jihadi Operations”, named after a 627 AD battle wherein the Prophet Muhammad’s forces were outnumbered by opposition, yet still prevailed at finally winning the (long-ago) battle.
The Taliban’s Wednesday broadcast bluntly declared the U.S. military as the Taliban’s primary target, stating they plan to “crush, kill & capture the American intruders.” The Afghan government forces were given as secondary objectives.
The Taliban (partially) stated; “The plans & strategies of the Al Khandaq Jihadi ops are organized by the expert and proficiently skilled cadre of the Military Commission of the Islamic Emirate based on guerrilla, offensive, infiltrated and various other new & intricate tactics against the war strategy of the enemy.’-
‘Their internal supporters will be dealt with as a secondary target while the present & future mischievous plots of mischief-mongers will be nipped in the bud. Afghan citizens should stay a sufficient distance away from all enemy bases & convoys, so as to not be unnecessarily harmed during these operations,” said the Taliban.
The U.S. officially ended combat operations in Afghanistan in 2014, but they still maintain about 14,000 troops in the country. Norway has 50 military advisers & specialists stationed in Kabul; tasked primarily with training Afghan personnel.
Both the Afghan government and the U.S. have formally offered the Taliban the opportunity to negotiate a peaceful end to the 17 year old conflict, but to no avail.
In August of 2017, President Donald Trump moved to increase U.S. presence in Afghanistan, unveiling a strategy to strengthen U.S. military numbers, and also to prompt Pakistan to close terrorist escape routes over Pakistan’s borders.
President Trump offered that his strategy in Afghanistan is to “win”, adding; “We are not nation-building again. (Instead,) We are killing terrorists.”
While the Taliban’s 2018’s spring objectives are considered by many to be mere ‘saber-rattling’ propaganda, the Taliban’s yearly-announced battle objectives are frequently adhered to; often with tragic results.
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today