Small Wars Journal

Afghan General: There are a Lot More Taliban Fighters than Previously Thought

Afghan General: There are a Lot More Taliban Fighters than Previously Thought by J.P. Lawrence – Stars & Stripes

KABUL, Afghanistan - A top Afghan general said Monday that more than 77,000 Taliban and other militants are now fighting against the government – more than double earlier U.S. and Afghan estimates despite a large increase in U.S. airstrikes over the past year.

“It is proven that 77,500 enemies, of whom 5,000 are foreign fighters and 3,000 are Daesh militants, are carrying out activities against our country’s peace and stability,” Gen. Laal Jan Zaheer, commander of the Kabul Military Training Center, told Tolo News. Daesh is an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State.

It was not immediately clear how Zaheer arrived at that figure, which provided a rare public assessment of enemy numbers.

Zaheer’s assessment — which others quickly disputed — underscores just how difficult it is to pin down whether the U.S. and its allies are eliminating their enemies on a significant scale…

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