The Afghan Taliban claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on the 209thAfghan Army Corps base near the historic city of Mazar-i-Sharif that has killed at least 140 Afghan soldiers and wounded scores of others.
The attack is significant for reasons beyond the saddening and unprecedented death toll. First, the attack occurred in the northern stronghold of Atta Mohammad Noor, the governor and warlord of Balkh province. Mazar-i-Sharif had been among the most secure cities of the country. The base, which I have visited several times, is on the city’s outskirts. Noor has many political opponents, raising questions about possible collusion with the Taliban attack.
Second, the attack, which was carried out by gunmen in stolen Afghan Army uniforms and kit, reportedly had insider assistance. General John “Mick” Nicholson has long complained about the corruption and poor leadership within the Afghan military and police. This event is a shocking consequence of these problems – problems that are sapping the readiness and combat performance of the Afghan security forces much faster than the U.S. military can build them.
Read the full article at The Hill.
More from CNAS
CommentaryTrump Needs to Reestablish Deterrence with Iran
The attack attributed to Iran on Saudi Aramco oil facilities is the latest in a series of Iranian escalations—the May 14 and June 13 tanker attacks, the June 20 downing of a U...
By Kaleigh Thomas & Elisa Catalano Ewers
VideoNicholas Heras on Killing of ISIS Leader in U.S. Military Raid
The Center for a New American Security’s Nicholas Heras talked about the killing of ISIS founder and leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in a U.S. military raid in Syria. Listen to th...
By Nicholas Heras
PodcastDiscussing Turkey’s Offensive Against the Kurds in Syria with Nick Heras
The United States’ withdrawal and the Turkish military’s incursion into the Kurdish-controlled northeast have completely changed the balance of power in Syria. Without America...
By Andrea Kendall-Taylor, Jim Townsend & Nicholas Heras
CommentaryThe Nonintervention Delusion
Richard Fontaine addresses the most frequently expressed concerns about U.S. military interventions and concludes that the use of military force will remain a key component of...
By Richard Fontaine