“Our assessment of their (Afghan forces) performance in 2015 is that they had mixed results,” Brig. Gen. Wilson Shoffner, deputy chief of staff for communications, said during a media interaction at the Pentagon.
They applied and learned lessons from one operation to the next. They got better, he said, praising the Afghan forces’ ability to integrate their air and artillery.
“It required more time to get forces in position, and then it required more time to stabilise the situation. They did get somewhat better at crisis response, but that remains one of their weaknesses and one of the areas they’re going to have to continue to focus on,” he added.
On the other hand, the official claimed, the Taliban did make some temporary gains. “But they were not able to hold ground and they were not able to govern.
“And in almost every case, the Afghan security forces were able to retake the ground that the Taliban took, whether it was a roadway or a district center or key terrain. The Afghan security forces bounced back and retook that,” he said.
The best example of that was the fact that the Afghan security forces retook Kunduz City, with a population of over 300,000 people, in just seven days, Shoffner said.