A U.S. service member is killed in action and four are injured in fighting in Nangarhar province. Two of the injured are hospitalized in stable condition and two have returned to duty. This engagement was against the so-called ISIS-Khorasan province, and is separate from the Resolute Support mission. An interesting excerpt from the Stripes story is that it turns out that 700-1,600=1,000:
Officials estimated in March that about 700 ISIS-K members remained in Afghanistan, but in late November Nicholson said 1,600 fighters had been eliminated. In early December, officials estimated about 1,000 fighters were still operating throughout Afghanistan.Those of you old enough to remember the Vietnam war will remember "body counts."
And I guess we'll be getting more of them. Gen. Votel of the U.S. Central Command wants a more "aggressive Afghan push":
Gen. Joseph Votel of U.S. Central Command said an influx of new American trainers can help escalate the fight. They’ll be operating with Afghan units, closer to the front lines and at greater risk, but Votel said U.S. commanders will ensure American and allied forces have adequate protection. The goal is to get the Afghan military moving on its military campaign sooner, rather than later. The United States wants the “focus on offensive operations and we’ll look for a major effort to gain the initiative very quickly as we enter into the fighting season,” Votel said in a recent interview with The Associated Press. . . .Well, we've only been at this for 14 years. One more should do the trick.
Votel said as the coalition builds up the Afghan Air Force and trains more security forces, the Afghans will become better fighters. “By the time they get to the next fight,” he said, “they will be able to really present a significant offensive capability.”