Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

However long it lasts, Taliban capture of Kunduz is a major blow to Afghan government

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The Guardian, 29 September 2015

Two AAN analysts are quoted in this article about the Taleban taking Kunduz, Kate Clark and Borhan Osman:

“Having a Taliban that is confident on the battlefield and which feels it can win militarily is not good for peace talks,” said Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, adding that even if the government could reclaim Kunduz huge damage had been done.

“People get killed and injured, and it also makes residents feel very very unsafe. It doesn’t go back to how it was before your area got lost to the opposition. If you live there, your confidence in the government is lost.” […]

And, although the Taliban are believed to be heavily outnumbered, in the past they have proved willing to take heavy casualties to hold on to lesser prizes in the south.

More than 200 fighters may have died holding on to rural Musa Qala district in Helmand in recent months, after an abortive government effort to reclaim the area, analyst Borhan Osman said.

“It’s significant, a first big test for the Afghan national security forces. If the Taliban did manage to hold on to a city for an extended period of time, that would be a big blow,” said a former senior western diplomat in Kabul. “If they were still in charge of it next year or in a few months time, you’d begin to have Mosul-like parallels.”