The Afghan military will begin expanding its elite commando units in the coming weeks, Afghan officials and military officers said, in a bid to capitalize on a force that has been one of the few success stories in the nearly 16-year-old war.

The commandos, with their track record of reliability, have become a favorite of U.S. military officials. They see the elite force as key to pushing back the Taliban militants who have taken over broad swaths of the country since NATO forces ended their combat mission in 2014. 

The surge in commandos also means more Afghan trainers, officers and noncommissioned soldiers will be needed to ensure the new units remain effective. U.S. Special Operations troops, acting as advisers to the Afghan commandos, said that they are confident that the Afghans can do it without sacrificing their standards or giving up the stringent screening process required to enter the program.

Read more: Washington Post