Security forces afghanstrained and trained at a cost of $ 83 billion over two decades, they have collapsed so easily and quickly – in some cases without firing a single shot – that the ultimate beneficiaries of American investment have turned out to be the taliban.
They not only took political power, but also the firepower provided by the United States: weapons, ammunition, helicopters and more.
The Taliban seized various modern military equipment when they defeated the Afghan forces that failed to defend their districts.
This was followed by higher profits, including fighter jets, as the Taliban rampaged through provincial capitals and military bases with surprising speed, all capped by the capture of the biggest prize, Kabul, over the weekend.
A US defense official confirmed Monday that the Taliban have amassed a massive amount of US-supplied Afghan equipment.
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The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, so he spoke on condition of anonymity.
This setback is a painful consequence of having misjudged the capabilities of the Afghan government forces – both by the US military and by intelligence agencies – which in some cases chose to surrender their vehicles and weapons rather than fight.
The failure of the United States to create a self-sufficient Afghan army and police, and the reasons for its collapse, will be studied for years by military analysts.
?? The basic characteristics, however, are clear and are not different from what happened in Iraq. The forces turned out to be hollow. They were equipped with superior weapons, but lacked the crucial ingredient: combat motivation.
“Money cannot buy the will. You can’t buy leadership, ”said John Kirby, spokesman for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, on Monday.
For his part, Doug Lute, a retired Army lieutenant general who helped direct Afghan war strategy during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, said that what the Afghans received in tangible resources they lacked in intangibles, which are more important.
“The principle of war does not change: moral factors dominate material,” he said.
“The morale, discipline, leadership and cohesion of the units are more decisive than the number of forces and teams. As outsiders in Afghanistan, we can provide material, but only Afghans can provide the intangible moral factors. “
By contrast, Afghanistan’s Taliban insurgents, with fewer numbers, less sophisticated weaponry, and no air power, proved to be a superior force.
US intelligence agencies underestimated the extent of that superiority. Nor did they foresee an offensive that would be so spectacularly successful by the Taliban, even after President Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of all US troops in April.
“If we had not used hope as a course of action, … we would have realized that the rapid reduction in US forces sent a signal to the Afghan national forces that they were being abandoned,” said Chris Miller, who He served in combat in Afghanistan in 2001 and was Secretary of Defense at the end of President Donald Trump’s term.
For Stephen Biddle, a professor of international and public affairs at Columbia University and a former adviser to US military commands in Afghanistan, Biden’s announcement set the ultimate collapse in motion.
“The problem with the US withdrawal is that it sent a signal that the party was over, a sudden signal at the national level that everyone interpreted in the same way,” Biddle said.
Until April, Afghan government troops were slowly but steadily losing the war, he said. When they learned that their fellow Americans were returning home, the urge to surrender without a fight “spread like wildfire.”
In his book “The Afghanistan Papers,” journalist Craig Whitlock wrote that American instructors tried to impose Western customs on Afghan recruits and gave little thought to whether American taxpayer dollars were being invested in a truly viable military.
“Considering that America’s war strategy depended on the performance of the Afghan army, the Pentagon paid surprisingly little attention to the question of whether Afghans were willing to die for their government,” he wrote.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.