30-April-17 – There’ll Be Plenty for the New British Troops To Do in Afghanistan

By Musa Khan Jalalzai

Author of The Afghan Intel Crisis : Satellite State, War of Interests and the Blame-Game

Just an idea what the British will be facing this time around in Afghanistan.

Due to the politicization of Afghanistan’s civilian and military intelligence agencies, Afghan security forces [are] undergoing a serious security crisis. The ANA [lacks] intelligence collection capabilities. NATO and the US lost thousands of troops, and spent half a trillion dollars to build a strong army, but now they seem unwilling to address the exponentially growing corruption culture within the Afghan armed forces. Civilian casualties rose to a record level as the Taliban retrieved sophisticated weapons from Russia. Desertion and retention became a persistent challenge for ANA commanders as thousands of soldiers and officers joined either Taliban or the ISIS terrorist groups. Afghan Defense Ministry was losing as many as 5,000 soldiers and officers every month in cases of desertion and casualties in 2015 and 2016.

In February, the ANA arrested and disarmed 30 cops with alleged Taliban ties, including the police chief of Helmand’s Sangin district. Drug trafficking was another serious challenge where, according to the Russian Narcotics Agency report, almost a third of the ANA officers turned to drug trafficking. Army generals and officers were deeply involved in drug trafficking and kidnapping for ransom. The question of merited appointment also remained unsolved as the Military Headquarters and the Intelligence agencies done nothing to oversight selection process to ensure merited promotions.

Those who fought against insurgents during the last 15 years were removed from their posts, and those who enjoyed a comfortable life in Kabul were promoted to the rank of general. The ambassador of the European Union to Afghanistan expressed his dismay that the number of Afghan army generals exceeded several times than those in Britain, Italy, Germany and France. On 11 October 2016, President Ashraf Ghani sternly criticized appointments of unprofessional officers and soldiers within the ranks of the Afghan armed forces. On 15 October 2016, a number of MPs in the lower house of parliament criticized intelligence agencies and warned that the lack of war strategy resulted in the exchange of districts between ANA commanders and Taliban insurgents.

…All military commanders are answerable to their political masters and war criminals with conflicting priorities rather than to the state and government. On 29 December, Afghan police commanders loyal to a specific political group refused to fight against Taliban in Helmand. In the end of 2014, more than 100 Afghan police joined Taliban.

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