Billions spent on Afghan army ultimately benefited Taliban

Billions spent on Afghan army ultimately benefited Taliban
Source: AP
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: US spent 83 billion US dollars on building and training Afghan Army, but the army collapsed so quickly and completely — in some cases even without a shot fired — that the massive American investment turned out to be in the benefit of Taliban. The militant group not only grabbed Afghanistan’s political power but also US-supplied firepower — guns, helicopters, ammunition and more.

The Taliban captured a huge volume of modern military weapons and equipment provided by the United States when they overran Afghan forces who failed to defend district centers. When the Taliban rolled up provincial capitals, bigger gains followed, including combat aircraft and military bases with stunning speed, topped by capturing the biggest prize, Kabul, the capital of the country.

On Monday, a US defense official confirmed the militant group’s sudden accumulation of US-supplied Afghan weapons is enormous. The reversal is an embarrassing and devastating consequence of misjudging the viability of Afghan government forces — by the intelligence agencies as well as US military — which in some cases chose to surrender their vehicles and weapons rather than fight.

The US failure to create a sustainable police force and the Afghan army, and the reasons for their collapse and surrender, will be studied for years by military analysts. However, the basic dimensions are clear and they are not unlike what happened in Iraq. The Afghan Army turned out to be hollow, equipped with superior arms but largely missing the crucial ingredient of combat motivation.

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