- The Capitulation of Afghan National Army.
1. Afghan National Army( ANI) was raised, built, paid and equipped by the US over a period of two decades. According to confession by President Biden in his August , 17 speech, almost US Dollars 1 Trillion we’re spent on raising this supposedly 300,000 strong Army . Despite tall claims by the former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani about the capabilities of ANA & that Taliban can not capture Afghanistan in 100 years, poorly equipped Taliban seized control of almost the entire Afghanistan in less than one month. What were the factors behind false perceptions about the real capabilities of the ANA and the reasons for Taliban astounding victories, makes an interesting study .
2.In order to have a balanced composition, ANI had representation from all ethnicities of Afghanistan with senior ranks mostly assigned to Uzbeks, Hazara’s and Tajiks while the fighting echelons comprised of mostly Pashtuns. This was one main reason that the Pashtuns refused to fight against their fellow Talibans . Talibans had been in control of 40-48 percent of rural Afghanistan and suburbs of cities for more than 10 years and had worked with the local population to earn their good will and an understanding , which paved way for their spontaneous acceptance.
3. The projected strength of ANA by corrupt government of Ashraf Ghani was far less than on ground soldiers. It was according to estimates less than 70-80000, while the funding and pays for the remaining were syphoned off to coffers of corrupt leaders. The moral, a battle winning factor was lacking as Pashtun majority resented the senior leadership of non Pashtuns. They viewed military service only as an employment opportunity and not as a resort to fight for honor . In terms of intangibles expected from a military establishment, they lacked discipline, cohesion and sprit de corps.
4. The US – Taliban Peace Accord signed at Doha on 29 February 2020, giving time frame of withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan further demoralized them. The peace negotiations by US with Taliban spread over many years also signaled an acknowledgment of Taliban & not Ashraf Ghana government as sole representatives of Afghans and the future rulers.
5. Another rumor going around was that Afghan government had withheld the pays of ANA for many months, despite funds being released by the US. As the date of US troops withdrawal neared, it was the writing on the wall that Ashraf Ghani will flee the country at the first opportunity, precipitating collapse of his in popular government. This acted as a last nail in the coffin and an absence of a cause & state government to fight for .
6. All the aforesaid factors contributed to surrender of ANA even without a fight to ill equipped but motivated Taliban who were fighting for a cause to free their Motherland from a foreign occupation. In terms of military purview it is also a manifestation of moral and a will to fight over a material superiority .
To be continued…….
* It is strictly forbidden to use the information and the studies contained on this site, except with prior permission from the administration and the authors Thualfuqar center.