Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Taliban Make Gains in Kapisa Province

A recent online post by the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) highlights two districts of Kapisa province that are experiencing greater instability. The map to the left shows the outline of Kapisa province in relation to the rest of Afghanistan (map courtesy of Wikipedia). The province, located 80 kilometers northeast of Kabul, has always been an area of conflict. The security situation has gotten worse with the departure of Task Force Lafayette (France) and its supporting aviation unit - Task Force Musketeer. The author, Obaid Ali, reports that the Afghan government is losing its grip on Kapisa. Kapisa, due to its geographical location, serves as a crossroads for the Taliban and as a support zone for insurgent attacks into Kabul. A variety of insurgent and local armed militia groups exist in Kapisa as well as a mix of ethnic groups consisting of Tajiks, Pashtuns, Pashai, and Kuchi.

Two of the districts, Alasai (pink in the map to the left) and Kohband (yellow in the map to the left) are presented as examples of how the Afghan government is failing in Kapisa. (map courtesy of Wikipedia). In the Alasai district, for the past two years, the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) - this includes the police and the army - are only allowed out of their bases, camps and offices for one hour per day - and only to go to the district center's bazaar. The remainder of the district is controlled by the Taliban. The Taliban's district government, in effect, runs the district with a legal system, security council, finance department, and district prison. A second district - Kohband - is plagued by a variety of illegally armed groups that fight among each other. Both of these districts are in mountainous areas of the province with little agricultural activity and a shortage of education and medical resources.

Read the article by Obaid Ali, Fire in the Pashai hills: A two-district case study from Kapisa, Afghanistan Analysts Notebook (AAN), April 6, 2015.

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