U.S military efforts during the six-month period from June 1 to Nov. 30 of last year have ensured the safety of Afghans as they voted in their country’s presidential election, and stopped the Taliban from seizing any provincial capitals there, according to a Jan. 23 Pentagon report to Congress.
The U.S. is continuing to pursue a strategy intended to bring the Taliban to the table to negotiate a peace and enhance the capabilities of Afghan defense forces, the report stated.
Still, “terrorist and insurgent groups continued to present a formidable challenge to Afghan, U.S., and Coalition forces,” the report stated.
While ISIS-K (Islamic State – Khorosan province) fighters are limited to operations in eastern Afghanistan, the organization still poses a “formidable challenge” and continues to make connections to other terrorist networks outside the country.
Additionally, the report noted that “sustained levels of violence” have fostered recruitment and retention problems among Afghan forces. That said, the report also stated that a reorganization of the forces have put them in a posture where they could “respond more effectively to crises” and demonstrate “increased … battlefield effectiveness.”