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Afghanistan’s array of the elite Special Operations Forces has been enhanced. The forces have transitioned from a division to a corps, as part of a four-year security plan meant for improving the country’s security forces. Afghan President, Ashraf Ghani, said at the ceremony in Kabul, “I can see the results of your recent fights and I see the huge improvements from last year.”
Afghan forces are facing a growing threat posed by the Taliban and and Islamic State’s self-styled Khorasan branch (IS-K), which emerged in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region two years ago. US Army General, John Nicholson, NATO commander in Afghanistan, told defenseworld.net that the beginning of the corps would further bolster Afghan security forces’ capabilities against the militants.
The Special Forces division, which currently consists of two special operations brigades will add two more brigades under its command and control, according to NATO’s Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. In addition to the doubling of the special operation forces from 17,000 and upgrading the division of special forces to a new military corps within the Afghan National Army structure, the four-year plan also includes “increasing aviation capabilities of the Afghan Air Force and reforms inside the structure of Afghan security forces,” said Ahmad Shah Katawazai, defense liaison at the Afghan embassy in Washington.
In recent years, Afghanistan has shifted its focus from conventional warfare to special operations. Currently, Special Forces conduct 70 percent of the country’s military operations. These elite forces are trained as quick reaction forces and conduct regular night raids against militants in various regions of the country.
US President Donald Trump recently said his administration has decided how to deal with the 16-year war in Afghanistan. Roughly 13,000 NATO troops, including 8,400 Americans, are deployed in Afghanistan, carrying out anti-terrorism operations and training Afghanistan’s 300,000 security forces.