The Taliban are flexing their muscle with a series of high-profile attacks in recent weeks, showing they are far from defeated as the U.S. prepares to withdraw most of its forces from Afghanistan at year’s end.
The Taliban have staged at least 12 attacks targeting foreigners in the past three weeks, many of them inside Kabul.
Although the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Campbell, has said any talk of a Taliban resurgence is “absolutely false,” critics who have watched the Islamic State sweep over Iraq after the U.S. withdrawal are looking on nervously.
The Afghanistan attacks come as the U.S. prepares to pull out all but nearly 10,000 troops.
“We predicted that we were going to have major problems around Kabul and to the east of Kabul to the Pakistan border with the Haqqani network,” Keane said, referencing the powerful Pakistan-based Taliban affiliate. “The president did not give us the full number of surge forces, and then over General Petraeus‘ objections, he pulled them out early.”
Aid and charity groups in the region are urging their workers to leave the country over the Christmas holidays. Even the Canadian Embassy issued an advisory to its citizens cautioning all of them to leave immediately.