Afghan army commander says they couldn’t fight after being abandoned by Biden, US
An Afghan army commander said on Wednesday that the reason his troops could no longer fight the Taliban was largely because they felt abandoned by the United States and President Joe Biden.
âIt is true that the Afghan army has lost its will to fight. But it is because of the growing sense of abandonment by our American partners and the lack of respect and disloyalty reflected in Mr. Biden’s tone and words over the past few months, âwrote Afghan General Sami Sadat. in a New York Times editorial.
âThe Afghan army is not without reproach. It had its problems – cronyism, bureaucracy – but we finally stopped fighting because our partners already had them, âhe said.
Sadat described the Afghan army’s three-and-a-half-month attempt to prevent the Taliban from controlling Helmand province. He said it was only when he was called to Kabul by President Ashraf Ghani, who appointed him commander of the Afghan special forces, that the military lost control to the Taliban.
âBut the Taliban were already entering the city; it was too late, âhe said.
Sadat said the United States had withdrawn key support from the military and left the troops with their hands tied.
“It pains me to see Mr. Biden and Western officials accuse the Afghan army of collapsing without mentioning the underlying reasons that have occurred,” Sadat said. âPolitical divisions in Kabul and Washington have strangled the military and limited our ability to do our job.
âThe loss of the combat logistical support that the United States has provided us for years has crippled us, as has the lack of clear direction from the American and Afghan leadership,â Sadat said.
While Sadat largely blamed Biden for the “betrayal,” he said former President Donald Trump’s February 2020 peace deal with the Taliban was partly to blame. Still, Sadat said his troops continued to fight, and it wasn’t until Biden decided to pull US troops out of Afghanistan that things started to turn south.
âThis put an expiration date on US interest in the region,â Sadat wrote. âSecond, we have lost the logistics and maintenance support of contractors essential to our combat operations. Third, the endemic corruption within Mr. Ghani’s government which has affected senior military leaders and has long crippled our forces on the ground has irreparably hampered us.
The Biden administration announced the withdrawal decision in April to leave by September 11 and began executing the plan earlier this month with the earlier deadline of August 31. As the United States began the withdrawal and evacuations of vulnerable Americans and Afghans, the Taliban in a matter of days took control of many cities, including the country’s capital, Kabul, prompting Ghani to flee the country.
The United States trained and fought alongside Afghan troops throughout the 20 Years War. The Afghan army numbered 182,071 troops as of April, according to a report by the Pentagon Inspector General.
Biden said last week that the United States cannot give the Afghan military “the will to fight” for their future.
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‘It was too late’: Afghan commander says army ‘lost its will to fight’ after US ‘betrayal’
Jennie taer August 25, 2021