News / Asia

US Troops Prepare for Afghan 'Spring Offensive'

US Troops Prepare for Afghan Spring Offensivei
X
May 02, 2013 6:33 PM
US and allied forces in Afghanistan are preparing for stepped-up attacks after Taliban insurgents this week declared the start of their annual spring fighting season. VOA Pentagon correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Luis Ramirez
U.S and allied forces in Afghanistan are preparing for stepped-up attacks after Taliban insurgents this week declared the start of their annual spring fighting season. 

Their message came in an audio message that announced the start of a monumental spring operation, one aimed at defeating those it described as "western invaders," a reference to U.S.-led allied forces that are in the process of drawing down.

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, on a visit to Afghanistan in March, noted there are challenges ahead as U.S. forces hand over security responsibility to the Afghans.

"That transition has to be done right, it has to be done in partnership with the Afghans, with our allies," said Hagel.

For the first time, Afghan forces are in the lead this fighting season, with allied forces as backup. That means they are the prime targets for insurgents, who stepped up their attacks dramatically during the winter.  

A report from the respected independent group, the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, says the number of insurgent attacks has grown by 47 percent in the past year.  Seventy-four percent of those attacks were on Afghan national security forces and only four percent against international troops.

Jonah Blank, an analyst with the Rand Corporation, said Taliban fighters have calculated that going after allied forces isn't as effective as targeting Afghan troops.

“The Taliban [is] trying to assert its dominion or its power over the national security forces and to put some fear into them," he said. "They don't take on ISAF or U.S. troops as much because they get killed when they do that.  There isn't any percentage in it for them now that we have made clear that we will be withdrawing and we will be leaving only a fairly small force when we leave."

The United States is due to pull out most of the 66,000 troops it has in Afghanistan by December 2014, and is still deciding how many it will leave behind.

How Afghan forces do this fighting season may help answer that question.

You May Like

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid