From 2002, the US has invested upwards of $88 billion on training and equipping Afghanistan’s police and army, accounting for over two-thirds of all international assistance to the nation. Why, therefore, are soldiers collapsing in the midst of the Taliban’s assault?
Is The US Army to Blame?
As per former and present Afghanistan Security and Interior Ministry employees, the stunning incompetence to mold a unified and self-reliant Afghan national army can be attributed to decades of extremely optimistic evaluations from US officials.
This obscured — and in some cases, purposefully hid — proof of massive corruption, poor leadership, ghost soldiers and police who existed only on the wages and salaries of the Afghanistan Protection and Interior Government Departments.
They claim that even Afghanistan units that have battled heroically against a difficult opponent (while suffering massive fatalities) were never supposed to function lacking high-tech air-land help from international allies.
This is going to be Siagon all over again….
— Robert Gerhardt (@robert_gerhardt) August 12, 2021
What can we do to encourage Afghanistans to fight for themself? Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) is a retired military lieutenant colonel and chairman of the Armed Services Committee who opposes the departure of US forces; she also believes it may never materialize.
Ernst, who inspected the program many times, expressed confidence in the Americans in command. In an article, she stated, that special forces really were functioning fairly nicely. However, that was always while they got American advisers and assistance.
Afganistan is Falling
Ghazni and Herat, the nation’s two largest towns, have recently fallen to the militants. Lashkar Gah, the seat of Helmand province, was also under Taliban rule on Friday.
Army commanders are increasingly skeptical that Afghanistan soldiers designated to protect Kabul will fare any better; there are also concerns that America and its partners believe the insurgents will shortly be at the city’s borders.
India is closely monitoring the safety and security of Hindu and Sikh minorities in Afghanistan amid reports of atrocities that abound as Taliban forces make rapid advances.#afganistanwar #worldnews pic.twitter.com/fmRQha1S5b
— Bhai Sahib Satpal (@bhaisahibsatpal) August 14, 2021
Even as 3,000 American soldiers arrive in Kabul to remove U.S. ambassadors (who have been ordered to burn key government records while leaving for their security on Friday) the Pentagon claimed that they are not yet counted out.
As of the most recent Pentagon statistics, Afghanistan government troops have grown significantly over the last 20 years.
They’ve grown from just 6,000 under the Ministry of Defense, but no federal police whatsoever in 2003 to 182,071 and 118,628, in both, as of April 2021. Nevertheless, as the armies have grown in size, so have the assertions of their superiority.
A decade earlier, a US commander bragged that Afghanistan’s military battled with expertise and bravery. They demonstrated themselves to be progressively capable, according to a replacement in 2015. Last month, the Defense Department chief spokeswoman affirmed that Afghanistan forces are capable of defending their homeland.
The Americans trained and equipped and fought alongside the Afghan army for 20 years. Left to its own devices, the Afghan army can‘t fight, won‘t fight. Lesson: training and equipping do not fight wars. Soldiers do. If they have a heartfelt reason and fitting motivation to do so.
— F. Golooba-Mutebi (@FGoloobaMutebi) August 13, 2021
However, the competing information suggesting government troops were unprepared to deal with a long-term struggle was frequently omitted out of congressional testimony or kept as confidential.
Starting in 2015, the Army began withholding some statistics on Afghanistan forces from its public; this is a decision that the Chief Special Counsel for Afghanistan Rebuilding considered unusual at the period.
All of the US taxpayer-funded efforts to create, equip, supply, and maintain Afghanistan forces have been unable to be reported publicly, according to the nonpartisan inspectors.