Afghanistan presidential elections
Representational Image: A police officer mans a checkpoint in Jalalabad in Afghanistan.Reuters

Afghanistan forces are grossly under-equipped to take on the Taliban in the absence of NATO, with a police official claiming that there are only three grenades for each checkpoint in the Helmand province that is deeply affected by Taliban insurgency.

"Sometimes up to 200 Taliban attack our checkpoints and if there are no army reinforcements, we lose the fight," Afghan district police chief Ahmadullah Anwari of Sangin district told Reuters. "It shames me to say that we don't have enough weapons and equipment. But this is a bitter reality."

Another police official, Mohebullah, police chief of Baraki Barak district of Logar province, also underlined the mismatch between the equipment of police officers and the Taliban.

While police forces use AK-47 rifles and rocket-propelled grenade launchers, the militants are equipped with machine guns and mortars, he said,

The forces' concerns have heightened as most of the foreign troops prepare to leave the country at the end of a year, in which more than 4,600 Afghan security force members have been killed in Taliban attacks.

Afghan forces have been amply aided by foreign troops in taking down Taliban militants in several attacks, especially with aircrafts and helicopters.

However, Afghanistan will take at least four years before it sees its own air force replacing US aircrafts, US Major General John McMullen said.

The Afghan forces have some respite in the fact that US President Barack Obama has approved the authorisation of airstrikes to aid its troops, as well as allied troops and Afghan forces in the fight against insurgents.

Reports also suggest that the US will not pull out as many troops from Afghanistan as it had proposed, by the end of the year.

NATO also recently announced its new mission 'Resolute Support' to train Afghan forces, which it will launch on 1 January 2015.

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