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Taliban Blow Dozens Sky High As Terror Group Sweeps Across Country

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A Taliban suicide bomber killed dozens of government workers on a commuter bus Monday in the Afghan capital of Kabul, as affiliated militants stormed important district centers in the faraway part of the country.

The high-profile suicide bombing and successful military operations are just the latest signs that the security situation in Afghanistan is sliding into chaos. Video from the scene of the bombing shows the government commuter bus reduced to a pile of charred mangled metal.

Taliban militants also overran district centers hundreds of miles away in faraway eastern Afghanistan, in a sign that the group can continue to pursue successful military operations while mounting a terror campaign against the U.S.-backed Afghan National Security Forces. The U.N. believes one-third of the Afghan population now lives under Taliban rule, and that the insurgent group controls approximately 40 percent of the country.

The slide of the country to ruin has led the Trump administration to consider sending more U.S. troops to help stabilize the situation.

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is reportedly mulling sending his maximum allotted number of 4,000 more troops, but has publicly insisted that any troop increases will be paired with a broader political strategy to force reconciliation with the Taliban movement, saying, “we’re not looking at a purely military strategy.”

The ultimate goal in Afghanistan, a stable and secure Afghan National Government, appears far from reach even with a modest troop increase. The Afghan National Security Forces are beset by corruption and suffering devastating losses, and it is unclear what additional U.S. advisors can realistically do to turn the army into an autonomous fighting force.

Both CENTCOM commander Gen. Joseph Votel and U.S. Forces Afghanistan commander Gen. John Nicholson have said that they need a few thousand more troops to more effectively train, advise and assist the Afghan forces. Nicholson indicated before Congress that more troops would allow him to deploy troops closer to the front lines, and embed advisers at lower levels of the chain of command within the Afghan forces.

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