WARNING: violent content
As the war in Afghanistan entered it's 12th year in 2012, NATO forces shifted their mission to "training and capacity building" of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), as the deadline for withdrawal of coalition troops drew closer. Most of the counterinsurgency operations were now being concentrated on the central and eastern provinces of Afghanistan as they attempted to create a "security bubble" around the capital Kabul. NATO's goal of building a 250,000 strong ANSF had become a monumental, if not impossible task to achieve within the initial target date of US withdrawal of 2014. As the Taliban grew stronger, the United States and its partners routinely pushed the deadline for an exit of Afghanistan until the chaotic US-led withdrawal of 2021.
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