Talking Proud - The American withdrawal from Afghanistan 2018

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2018 Report


US to increase combat capabilities in Afghanistan, but …

The Wall Street Journal reported on January 11, 2018 that the US intends to provide more hardware such as helicopters, ground vehicles, artillery and drones to US forces in Afghanistan, and intends to send in 1,000 more combat troops. The Journal believes the intent is to prepare for the spring fighting season. Expect to see force movements starting in February. The net result will be to have about 14,000 US forces in Afghanistan. The problem facing the DoD is that it needs to ramp up capabilities in the Pacific region as well. The Journal suggested that the US will remove forces from Syria and Iraq to help offset the needs for the Pacific. SecDef Mattis in turn is concerned that declines in US forces there will result in ISIS returning. Interestingly, ISIS fighters have fled Syria and Iraq to Afghanistan. The US needs NATO to increase its support in Afghanistan but questions about NATO's commitment loom.

US special operations combat missions will increase this year

Tom Bowman from NPR reported on January 2, 2018 that US special operations forces will go out on an increased number of combat missions in Afghanistan during 2018. He said, "Most of the 11,000 Americans work inside bases training Afghans, but some American special operations forces go on combat missions, accompanying Afghan commandos on raids against ISIS and Taliban fighters. This year, more American soldiers are expected to head out on operations with Afghan units against the Taliban." (010518)

US soldier killed near Pakistan border, four wounded

GolinMihail
Merritt Kennedy reported for NPR on January 2, 2018 that one American soldier was killed and four were wounded in Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, in Nangahar Province. Two of the wounded have returned to duty, while the other two are in stable condition. Army Sgt. 1st Class Mihail Golin, shown here, of Fort Lee, New Jersey was killed. He was assigned to the 2-10 Special Forces Group. He was the first US KIA in Afghanistan in 2018. Fifteen Americans were killed in Afghanistan in 2017, eight in this province, seven of them by hostile fire.

Nangahar

It has been estimated that thousands of Taliban are operating in Nangahar. (010518)