Daniel Coats, the United States Director of National Intelligence (DNI), in testimony to the U.S. Congress, stated that the Afghanistan’s political and security situation will continue to deteriorate through 2018.
Director Coats said, “The political and security situation in Afghanistan will almost certainly deteriorate through 2018, even with a modest increase in military assistance by the United States and its partners. This deterioration is underpinned by Afghanistan’s dire economic situation. Afghanistan will struggle to curb its dependence and external support contains the insurgency or reaches a peace agreement with the Taliban.”
Describing Afghanistan’s military situation, Director Coats said, “The Taliban is likely to continue to make gains especially in rural areas. Afghan security forces performance [will] probably worsen due to a combination of Taliban operations, combat causalities, desertions, poor logistic support and weak leadership.”
Another issue concerning U.S. intelligence is the Pakistan’s activities in the region.
Coats further added, “Pakistan is concerned about international isolation and sees its position through rising international status, including India’s expended foreign outreach and deepening ties to United States. Pakistan will likely turn to China for isolation, empowering a relationship they will help Beijing to influence in Indian Ocean.”
The US has 8,400 troops in Afghanistan, part of a 13,300-strong NATO mission to train and advise Afghan forces fighting the Taliban.
Reported by Nazira Karimi