Afghanistan’s acting spy chief has blamed the dwindling number of NATO troops and a technology vacuum for the surge in militant attacks across the country. Rahmatullah Nabil told parliament on December 17 that the country had “fallen off a technological cliff.” Nabil said the rise in attacks was a “natural consequence” of NATO’s withdrawal from the country this year.
Nabil gave the example of Helmand Province, in the country’s volatile south, where hi-tech surveillance balloons used by NATO forces were taken out from the battlefield amid the pullout. He said Afghan security forces now relied on six agents to gather intelligence in one large district in the province, a longtime Taliban stronghold.
Nabil also said Kabul, which has witnessed a huge surge in attacks in the past month, had only four out of the 26 entrances guarded. The spy chief also said detection technology used in security belts across Kabul was only operational for one hour per day.
NATO is leaving all but 12,500 troops behind in Afghanistan next year, with many primarily serving in training and advising roles.