Finally, General Nicholson, whose two-year term is expiring this year, might have something to cheer about. Fox News has reported that that US intelligence had got news of a big conference of Taliban leaders at Helmand in Afghanistan. The US Army and Air Force mounted coordinated air attacks and reports indicate over 50 middle and higher-rung leaders having been killed. Another 20 were reportedly killed by other methods including artillery fire. This is a major success for the US and Afghan troops that have been reeling under suicide attacks by the Taliban in Kabul. General Nicholson will be replaced by Army Lt. Gen. Scott Miller, the current head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).

The attack

The attack conducted by armed drones and US Air Force A-10 Warthog jets operated from the nearby Kandahar air base was a success. The Taliban leaders who conduct operations against the US and Afghan forces were targeted and close to 70 have been killed. The New York Times has reported that the US army also used rocket artillery on the Taliban leaders who were attending the meeting.

The US has about 15000 troops in Afghanistan. This is far less than the 100,000 deployed during the tenure of Obama. But it appears that the US forces have now redefined their priorities and can concentrate on Afghanistan as fighting in Iraq and Syria is tapering off. The latest attack is part of the new offensive by US and Afghan forces and has been confirmed by a top American general on Wednesday.

The US has upped the ante in Afghanistan and with a new general taking over this December the US will try to bring the war to a successful conclusion.

War

The US has been fighting the war in Afghanistan for the last 16 years and, so far, success has eluded them. The US has been mounting massive air raids and last month the Military launched the second-highest number of airstrikes in the past six and a half years in Afghanistan. The attack on Helmand province is of great significance as this area is a source of income for the Taliban which sells the locally grown narcotics which are refined in their drug labs. These have been targeted by the USAF.

Future

The war in Afghanistan is not yet over and general Nicholson is cautious about the success of the latest air strike. The US is also trying for a diplomatic solution and talks with the Taliban are ongoing. Despite this, the Taliban attacks have not stopped. With the shift in focus from the battle against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, the US can now concentrate on Afghanistan. Despite the latest success, the US is still a long way off from total victory.