Afghan soldiers lagging behind international forces in Operation Moshtarak

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Marjah (Afghanistan), Feb 21(ANI): As the NATO and Afghan soldiers fight their way into the Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan, the performance of the Afghan troops have been tested to the extreme level.

And certain media reports suggest that the day when the Afghan Army will be able to perform complex operations independently, rather than merely assist the international troops, remains far off.

Thousands of Afghan security forces are taking part in the 'Operation Moshtarak', which include troops from the Afghan National Army as well as about 100 specialists from Afghanistan's elite police unit - the Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP).

The Afghan forces have been brought into the battlefield after nearly a decade of American and European mentorship and many billions of dollars of American taxpayer investment.

The main target of the offensive was widely considered to be Marjah, which had been controlled for years by Taliban militants as well as drug traffickers.

Afghan troops were given a lead role in the ground forces, comprising about 60 percent of those troops. Around 8,000 ground forces and 7,000 support troops are involved when American, British, and other coalition troops are included.

However, in every engagement between the Taliban and one front-line American Marine unit, American officers and troops have led the operation in almost every significant sense, The New York Times reports.

This is the first time that Afghan troops have been engaged with the international force on such a scale and Commanders hope it will help reassure locals in Taliban hotspots that their ordeal is almost over. (ANI)

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