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U.S. General Blames Death Toll For Afghan Forces On Poor Afghan Leadership

U.S. Army General John Nicholson (file photo)
U.S. Army General John Nicholson (file photo)

The top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan says basic leadership failures in many Afghan police and military units have resulted in higher casualty tolls among Afghan troops.

U.S. Army General John Nicholson made the remark to reporters in Kabul on October 23 as Afghan forces neared the end of their second year in charge of security across the country.

Nicholson said street-level Afghan troops were performing as best they could, but were frequently vulnerable because Afghan commanders sometimes didn't provide them with basic supplies needed to fight Taliban militants and the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

Nicholson said that "young police officers who are out dying on the checkpoints don't always have enough food, or water, or ammunition and their leader may not be with them."

He said problems were primarily within the command of the Afghan National Police but also existed, to a lesser extent, within the Afghan National Army.

Based on reporting by AFP and BBC