Monday, December 22, 2014

Chak Valley, Wardak: Contested Area

Chak Valley in Wardak province is a highly contested area. 6th Battalion, 4th ANA Brigade is charged with securing the valley and the district - but it is a tough fight. Over the past several years the best the battalion has done is securing the district center, several small outposts in the immediate vicinity of the district center, and from time to time the road that leads east to Highway One. In 2014 the ANA stepped up the fight but progress has been costly - and could be fleeting. Chak Valley, located to the west of Highway One, is a refuge and support zone for the Taliban who seem able to interdict the highway running from Kabul to Kandahar at will with ambushes and IEDs. This year the fighting season has lasted longer than usual with indications that Taliban forces - who usually return to Pakistan or to their families in Afghanistan - will fight throughout much of the winter. Read "In a strategic valley, a glimpse of Afghan troops' future after most U.S. forces leave", The Washington Post, Dec 21, 2014.

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