- Afghanistan’s ex-finance minister blamed “ghost” soldiers for the US-backed federal government’s collapse.
- ” Ghost” soldiers were nonexistent soldiers or workers produced by corrupt authorities to pocket their income.
- The Taliban quickly took control of significant cities prior to marching into Kabul in August, typically without much of a battle.
Khalid Payenda, Afghanistan’s previous financing minister, informed BBC News that the majority of the 300,000 Afghan soldiers didn’t exist and remained in reality “ghost” soldiers comprised by corrupt authorities who made use of the system for cash.
” The method the responsibility was done, you would ask the chief because province the number of individuals you have actually and based upon that you might determine incomes and provision costs and they would constantly be pumped up,” Payenda informed Ed Butler of the BBC’s Service Daily.
Payenda likewise stated that when soldiers were eliminated or deserted their leaders would keep their bank cards and withdraw their incomes.
There were likewise leaders of government-backed militias who were “double-dipping,” Payenda stated, or taking federal government earnings while likewise accepting payments from the Taliban. Integrated with the truth that real soldiers were not earning money on time, this contributed greatly to the fast collapse of the Afghan federal government, he stated.
” The entire sensation was, we can not alter this. This is how the parliament works, this is how the guvs work. Everyone would state the stream is dirty from the extremely leading, implying the extremely leading is associated with this,” Payenda stated, though he included that he didn’t think previous Afghan President Ashraf Ghani was “economically corrupt.”
The Taliban restored control of Afghanistan in August as the United States completed its withdrawal from the nation. The militant Islamist group quickly took control of significant cities– frequently without much of a battle. Rather of fighting for area, the Taliban typically made handle regional leaders
A month prior to the Taliban takeover, President Joe Biden had actually promoted the size and abilities of the Afghan armed force, which the United States federal government invested $83 billion training and gearing up. Biden in a July 8 interview stated the Afghan armed force was as “fully equipped as any army worldwide.” Throughout the exact same interview, Biden stated, “The possibility there’s going to be the Taliban overrunning whatever and owning the entire nation is extremely not likely.”
When the Taliban marched into Kabul, the Biden administration was required to acknowledge that it was captured by surprise by the blistering rate at which the militants took area. “It is definitely the case that the speed with which cities fell was much higher than anybody expected,” nationwide security consultant Jake Sullivan stated in mid-August.
Biden put much of the blame on the Afghan armed force, though he ‘d revealed ” trust” in it simply weeks prior to.
The Afghan armed force was pestered by corruption and discipline concerns for many years, and the United States federal government was cautioned about the issue.
Payenda is barely the very first authorities from Afghanistan or the United States to reveal issues about “ghost” soldiers.
” When we state we have 100 soldiers on the battleground, in truth it is simply 30 or40 And this develops the capacity for big disasters when the opponent attacks,” Afghan legislator Ghulam Hussain Nasiri informed the Associated Press in2016 “It is an indicator of huge corruption– the factor Afghanistan is among the most corrupt countries on the planet.”
Another Afghan authorities stated that “nobody understands the precise varieties of the Afghan National Defense Forces.”
” Everybody understands that we are facing this battle along with ‘ghost’ soldiers, which’s the factor we do not have sufficient males,” Afghan soldier Mohammad Islam stated to the Associated Press at the time. “The Taliban understand it, too. When they assault us, and we’re not able to secure ourselves, the huge guys then ask why.”
” Neither the United States nor its Afghan allies genuinely understand the number of Afghan soldiers and authorities are offered for task, or, by extension, the real nature of their functional abilities,” John Sopko, the unique inspector general for Afghanistan restoration (SIGAR), stated to Congress in 2016 The year prior, SIGAR alerted that over $300 million each year was being administered to nonexistent forces. SIGAR consistently indicated the issues surrounding “ghost” soldiers throughout the years.
The United States made an effort to scrub “ghost” soldiers from its payroll, however problems with the Afghan military continued.
In its yearly danger evaluation launched in April, the United States intelligence neighborhood alerted that the Taliban “is most likely to make gains on the battleground, and the Afghan Federal government will have a hard time to hold the Taliban at bay if the union withdraws assistance.”
The Biden administration has actually dealt with bipartisan criticism over its handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.