July 2, 2022


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US Research Blames Fast Troop Exit for Collapse of Afghan Forces

ISLAMABAD —  An official U.S. company report has blamed the sudden demise of Afghan safety forces in August 2021 primarily on Washington’s choice to quickly withdraw the American navy, resulting in the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.

The Particular Inspector Basic for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), tasked to watch occasions within the war-torn nation, on Wednesday launched what it stated was the primary U.S. authorities report on how and why the Afghan Nationwide Protection and Safety Forces (ANDSF) fell aside abruptly.

The 300,000-member ANDSF, which had acquired billions of {dollars} in U.S. coaching and tools over 20 years, crumbled with out providing any vital resistance within the face of a lightning, 11-day rebel offensive that introduced nearly the whole nation, together with the capital, Kabul, beneath the Taliban management on August 15.

“(The) SIGAR discovered that the only most necessary issue within the Afghan Nationwide Protection and Safety Forces’ collapse in August 2021 … was the choice by two U.S. presidents to withdraw U.S. navy and contractors from Afghanistan, whereas Afghan forces remained unable to maintain themselves,” the report stated.

President Joe Biden and his predecessor, former President Donald Trump, who reached a cope with the Taliban in February 2020 to withdraw U.S. and allied troops and finish the longest U.S. battle, not solely introduced deadlines for the troop exit however the U.S. navy considerably lowered its battlefield help of Afghan forces, leaving them with out the essential backing of American airstrikes. The SIGAR evaluation relies partially on interviews with U.S. and former Afghan authorities officers and navy leaders.

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“We constructed that military to run on contractor help. With out it, it may well’t operate. Recreation over … when the contractors pulled out, it was like we pulled all of the stands proud of the Jenga pile and anticipated it to remain up,” a former U.S. commander in Afghanistan informed SIGAR.

Former Afghan generals informed the company that a lot of the U.S.-made UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters had been grounded shortly after American contractors withdrew in spring 2021, together with those that carried out upkeep on the helicopters.

“In a matter of months, 60 % of the Black Hawks had been grounded, with no Afghan or U.S. authorities plan to convey them again to life,” one Afghan normal informed the U.S. monitor. Because of this, Afghan troopers in remoted bases had been operating out of ammunition or dying for lack of medical evacuation capabilities, in line with the report. It famous that the U.S.-Taliban deal and subsequent withdrawal announcement degraded ANDSF morale, with some Afghan military officers denouncing the pact as “a catalyst for the collapse.”

In 2019, the U.S. navy carried out 7,423 airstrikes towards insurgents, probably the most in a decade. In 2020, the U.S. carried out 1,631 airstrikes, with nearly half occurring within the two months earlier than the U.S.-Taliban settlement. A former Afghan particular operations’ commander informed SIGAR that “in a single day … 98 % of U.S. airstrikes had ceased.”

Afghan navy officers had been quoted as saying that the settlement’s psychological impression was so nice that the common soldier switched to “survival mode and have become vulnerable” to accepting different presents, understanding they weren’t the winner. The deal additionally launched super uncertainty into the U.S.-Afghan relationship, in line with SIGAR findings.

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Afghans share blame

The report additionally blamed successive U.S.-backed Afghan governments for not doing their half to deal with the long-running issues going through ANDSF and affecting their dedication to maintain preventing. SIGAR recognized low salaries, poor logistics that led to meals, water and ammunition shortages; and corrupt commanders who colluded with contractors to skim off meals and gas contracts. It was not till Biden’s April 14, 2021, announcement of the ultimate troop and contractor withdrawal date that deposed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s internal circle stated they realized that the ANDSF had no provide and logistic capabilities. Though the Afghan authorities had operated on this manner for practically 20 years, their realization got here solely 4 months earlier than its collapse, the report stated. A former Afghan inside ministry official informed SIGAR that Ghani and his aides had been dismissing the upcoming overseas troop withdrawal as “a U.S. plot” till early that April, believing it was merely supposed to stress the embattled president versus being official U.S. coverage.

“The U.S. and Afghan governments share within the blame. Neither aspect appeared to have the political dedication to doing what it could take to deal with the challenges, together with devoting the time and sources essential to develop an expert ANDSF, a multigenerational course of,” the SIGAR concluded. “In essence, U.S. and Afghan efforts to domesticate an efficient and sustainable safety help sector had been prone to fail from the start. The February 2020 choice to decide to a fast U.S. navy withdrawal sealed the ANDSF’s destiny,” the report stated.

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The U.S.-led Western navy alliance invaded Afghanistan in October 2001 to punish the then-Taliban authorities in Kabul for harboring the al-Qaida leaders who Washington stated had been behind the lethal terrorist assaults towards U.S. cities in September of that yr. The Islamist group, nonetheless, shortly regrouped in alleged sanctuaries in neighboring Pakistan earlier than unleashing a lethal insurgency towards worldwide forces and their Afghan allies. U.S. and Afghan officers accused the Pakistani spy company of covertly serving to the Taliban maintain and develop their insurgency.

Islamabad rejected the costs and blamed a number of million Afghan refugees on its soil for sheltering insurgents. The allegations strained Pakistan’s relationship with the U.S. however didn’t rupture it, primarily as a result of Pakistani floor and air routes had been enjoying a vital function in ferrying provides to the overseas navy mission in landlocked Afghanistan for practically 20 years till the final American and allied troops flew out of Kabul on August 30.