An Afghan military expert believes that Afghan forces will not be able to defend the country on their own, saying that the withdrawal of foreign troops will see security deteriorate.
In an interview with TOLOnews, military analyst Jawid Kohistani said Monday that he believed the Taliban could gain control of some of the country's main cities and, while perhaps not Kabul city itself, the militants would control areas around it.
"Afghan security forces will not be able to control [all] Afghanistan after the withdrawal of foreign soldiers," he said. "The Taliban will control the bigger cities as well as Kabul's surroundings."
He added that he feared that the security situation will deteriorate after the complete withdrawal of the foreign troops in 2014.
His statements come as Nato's top military commander Gen. John Allen said on Sunday that nearly half of the 23,000 US soldiers slated to return home this year have already withdrawn from Afghanistan.
"August will be the heaviest month," Allen said in his interview with the Associated Press. "A lot is coming out now and a great deal will come out in August and early September. We'll be done probably around mid-September or so."
President Barack Obama pulled out 10,000 US troops from Afghanistan last year and ordered another 23,000 to be withdrawn by September 30. That will leave roughly 68,000 American troops still in the country in addition to the other 40,000 international forces.
Allen was more optimistic about the Afghan forces defence capabilities, pointing out that it had not yet reached its full capacity.
"We haven't even recruited the whole Afghan national security force. That's not going to happen for another couple months, but by October 1, we hope to be at 352,000," he said to AP. "We don't finish completely fielding the Afghan forces until December 2013. So just at that level alone there is significant work remaining to be done."
He said the joint security forces were working in the east to stop the infiltration of insurgents from Pakistan to Afghanistan, as well as aiming to expand the security zone around Kabul in Wardak and Logar provinces, just south of the capital, improving security along highways extending southward from the capital, and pushing insurgents farther from population centers.