The Obama administration has been secretly releasing Taliban fighters to strengthen its negotiating position. In related news, the chairs of the Senate and House intelligence committees acknowledge that the Taliban is gaining strength and violence is increasing in areas that are Taliban-dominant.
From Fox News:
The "strategic release" program of high-level detainees is designed to give the US a bargaining chip in some areas of Afghanistan where international forces struggle to exercise control, the report said.Under the risky program, the hardened fighters must promise to give up violence and are threatened with further punishment, but there is nothing to stop them resuming attacks against Afghan and American troops.
"The Taliban has a shadow system of governors in many provinces. They've gone up north. They've gone to the east. Attacks are up,” [Feinstein] told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley.“This is a huge problem. And what we have found is maybe the policies, the announced date of withdrawal, the negotiations with the Taliban, have worked against what our endgame is here,” Rogers said.