President Obama withdrew US armed forces from combat in Afghanistan. This was a blunder, as it allowed the Taliban to regroup and consolidate their position. It also allowed ISIS to enter the country. This mistake has been partially rectified by President Trump, and US Special Forces are assisting the Afghan army against ISIS in the Helmand province. Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the American Forces have an advisory role. Helmand has been the scene of heavy fighting and the militants have driven the Afghan army out.

The US military is aiding the Afghan army in its effort to recapture Helmand and American air support is an important element of this operation.

An airstrike in support of the Kabul army in Gereshk went wrong when US planes attacked a compound and by mistake killed 16 Afghan policemen and injured 2 others. The incident is under investigation. This news was confirmed by Omar Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial government. The American military command -- in a letter -- admitted this and expressed their “deepest condolences” regarding the incident, according to CNN International.

Battling the militants

General Nicholas, the head of US Central Command, vowed to eliminate ISIS from Afghanistan by the end of 2017. Even if ISIS is defeated the battle will not end, as the Taliban, a sworn enemy of the Kabul government, will remain. It is in a resurgent phase and controls large areas of the country.

Helmand, a large province in southern Afghanistan, has been the scene of heavy fighting in the long Afghan war. The war has been bad for the Afghan army which has suffered heavy causalities as a result of attacks by the Taliban. This has called for regrouping in terms of strategy and President Trump has given the green light to General Mattis, the Secretary of Defense.

The US is likely to bring more troops into Afghanistan to bolster the regime of President Ghani.

A terrible conflict

Afghanistan is facing a terrible conflict. It is more complex, as insider attacks have taken a heavy toll and the Afghan army on its own seems incapable of fighting the Taliban. One faction of the Taliban is supported by Pakistan and this has been duly noted by the Pentagon -- and General Mattis has refused to clarify that Pakistan is doing enough to control the militants belonging to the Haqqani faction.

As a result of this, the US has withheld military aid worth millions of dollars from Pakistan and also put on hold the reimbursement of over $250 million dollars toward expenses in support of coalition troops.

Last word

The situation in Afghanistan is in a state of flux and a large-scale intervention by the US army is the only thing that can make a difference. General Mattis has to make a decision soon.