As U.S. pullout nears, Taliban attacks undermine confidence

McClatchy Newspapers

KABUL, Afghanistan — A 6-week-old Taliban offensive that has struck some of the most peaceful parts of Afghanistan and killed police commanders and senior officials is undermining confidence in the Afghan army and police just as the Obama administration considers how quickly it should begin drawing down U.S. forces here.

The campaign, whose targets have included high-level meetings of government officials and supposedly secure facilities in Kabul, including the Defense Ministry, has left many Afghans uncertain of the competency of the security forces and their loyalty.

Particularly unsettling for many was the attack April 18 in which a Taliban sympathizer wearing a military uniform entered the heavily defended Defense Ministry building and opened fire.”

“A suicide attacker getting into the Defense Ministry shows the government’s weakness,” said Abdul Samad, a 25-year-old mechanic, when he was asked about his sense of Afghanistan’s security situation. Such an attack “makes people lose trust in the security forces.”

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