What Happened to the Afghan Army?

From Major Amin. As time goes on, we will no doubt see more information about how the USA “lost Afghanistan”. At the level of American PR/media the blame will mostly fall on Pakistan for now, since there is a lot of truth in it and it gets the clowns who run the state dept and the pentagon off the hook (or so they think) but in time the details about how the US mismanaged its project will also become prominent.. this is one of them. (To some extent it is a structural issue.. Americans live so far above/away from Afghan (or even Pakistani) reality.. well intentioned ones have no framework that remotely resembles situation on the ground, ill intentioned ones only want to make money or have fun killing gooks)

WHAT HAPPENED TO  AFGHAN NATIONAL ARMY 

Major A.H Amin (Retired) 

what happened to afghan national army 

  • August 2021 
  • DOI: 
  • 10.13140/RG.2.2.14621.44004
  • Project: 
  • Military History
  • Agha H Amin

Arm chair strategists are taking  great delight in criticizing Afghan  Army for collapsing in face of so  called Taliban onslaught. 

“A little knowledge of philosophy ,  inclineth man towards atheism” as  the adage goes but , “depth in  philosophy bringeth back man to  God !” This is how I will describe  these novices and critics ! 

The first point to be noted is that  armies are not created by US firms  like Military Professional Human  Resources International in a decade but a long process  spanning centuries. 

The real Afghan Army with  traditions dating back to 1719 or  1747 was destroyed by joint US  Pakistan design about 1978-1992 when a proxy war was financed in  Afghanistan. 

Characters like Peter Tomsen went out of their way to destroy  the real Afghan Army between  1989 and 1992 , just because it  was viewed as Pro Soviet or Pro  Russian entity.

Afghanistan had no army between  1992 and 2001. 

In 2001 the USA initiated efforts to  create a new army but this  exercise had ulterior motives. First  the exercise was awarded to contractors which was the first  blunder. 

US myopia and petty mindset  was such that USSR trained pilots ,  available in thousands were not  reemployed as they were regarded as  Russian proxies !

While the USSR trained many  thousand Afghans in USSR and  Warsaw Pact states, US petty  parsimony and narrowmindedness  was such that hardly any Afghan  was taken to the USA for courses

Instead characters who no one  would employ in USA , and had no  options were in Afghanistan  training the Afghan Army. 

To give an example , the main  project supervisor of Schools and  Clinics program in Louis Burger  was a male nurse ! To entrust billion dollar construction projects  to a male nurse was ludicrous. 

My driver and many taxi drivers I  met were outstanding war pilots  trained for 5 years in USSR and  with combat flying experience  between 3000 hours to 15,000  hours ! 

Tanks were regarded as future  threat and armour was hardly  created or organised. 

The list is endless but will never be  investigated like Louis Burgers billion dollar failure published by  Washington Post as a “BUILDING  PLAN FULL OF CRACKS” , LATE  2005 ! 

The simple issue was security ! US  trainers were simply SCARED that  they would get shot in the back !  

SO THERE WAS HARDLY ANY  TRAINING !!! 

I saw some of these contractors in  Kabul when I was living about 110  metres from gate of Kabul  Compound or camp Eggers ! 

These characters were here to do  hole punching and make some  bucks and not to create an army. So the real spirit was missing . 

The USA preferred so called ex  Mujahids which was a bad idea

The best Afghan officers like Ulumi  etc were never taken in the loop  as they were considered pro  Russian. 

Many old Afghan Army officers  joined but these were sabotaged by the Mujahid Mafia who were a  collection of USA, Pakistan or so  many other state proxies who had  destroyed their own country  between 1978 and 1992 ! 

The unkindest cut was delivered  by this character Ashraf Ghani  who between 2014 and 2019  summarily removed 90 % of pre  1992 Afghan Army officers , thus  totally destroying the Afghan  Army !

The incompetent US staff in Kabul  did not oppose this most IDIOTIC  and FOOLISH step ! 

Or perhaps it was US design that  Afghan Army should collapse  quickly so that the Taliban are  back in power and then they can  be sorted out properly ! 

The collapse of Afghan Army has  to be seen in the context of the  fact that FIRST the USA and its  proxy states DESTROYED the REAL  AFGHAN ARMY in 1978-92 ! Then  the RECONSTRUCTION of AFGHAN ARMY by the USA was a SHALLOW  EXERCISE , MARRED by MASSIVE  CORRUPTION and a BAD TEAM . Lastly no army can be created in  20 years . FINALLY Ashraf Ghanis  Removal of the REAL AFGHAN  ARMY OFFICERS BETWEEN 2014  AND 2019 WAS THE DEATH  SENTENCE OF AFGHAN ARMY !

Audio of the same points:

16 thoughts on “What Happened to the Afghan Army?

  1. Why is a retired major writing like someone who only passed primary school? My eyeballs hurt.

  2. Good analysis. We know Pakistan deserves some blame- but it cannot be overdone. Just like Iraq where the Army and Baath Party were dissolved by US occupation army, which led to years of instability.
    I think this marks end of US century and hegemony and credibility . Non western, even western countries, will think twice or thrice before allying with the US.
    I also think the rapid advance of Taliban may be due to help from Iran or even Russia. The Kabul govt is seen as a US ally or an underling, which invites the wrath of Iran and Russia , two countries with scores to settle with the US. Even though they don’t like Taliban , there antipathy for pro US forces is also high. US strategy should have been to cultivate Iran, while isolating Pakistan. Instead, they did the opposite with disastarous consequences

    India gifted MI24 attack heli to Kabul govt and that is in the hands of Talibs; so is other facilities built by India

  3. //US strategy should have been to cultivate Iran, while isolating Pakistan. //

    USA also has to cultivate Israel, Saudi, UAE, Egypt and Turkey, so its a bad strategy to cultivate Iran in opposition to them all, as Obama found out. But on another note, I agree that US allies don’t trust the US anymore. Infact ths US downfall in Afghanistan is directly linked to Pak military establishment’s distrust of the US after it abandoned the region in 1989.

  4. “Pak military establishment’s distrust of the US after it abandoned the region in 1989.”

    Why do Pakistanis cry and complain all the time?

    US comes in: cry
    US goes out: cry

    import free money: happy
    export militancy: happy

  5. \Pak military establishment’s distrust of the US after it abandoned the region in 1989.\
    This is a narrative promoted by Pakistani army.

    The US came in with military and other aid after Soviet invasion of 79. After Soviet tropps left in 87, the US had no business there; still it hung around and supplying arms to pakistan and Mujahideen and Taliban till the assasination of Najibulla in 1995.

    Pakistan ate of US hands during that period and afterward also; Pakistan has nothing to complain.

    Actually Pakistan has been doing armed intervention there from the time of Bhutto ; yet it is spinning a narrative that t was due to Sovit invasion that it got involved in Afghanistan; somehow the US responsible for all Mujahideen and the refugees from Afghanistan and therefore US owes pakistan something continuously.

    If Pakistan did not want refugees from Afghanistan, it could have closed the borders completely, left Afghans to their fate

  6. //the US had no business there; still it hung around and supplying arms to pakistan and Mujahideen and Taliban till the assasination of Najibulla in 1995.//

    You mean the F-16 jets they sold us and received payment for but never delivered?
    This is completely wrong

    Pakistan received $0 in military aid after the Pressler amendment came into effect from 1990 onwards. You can find the explanation along with the spreadsheet of US aid here:

    http://www.ipedr.com/vol39/028-ICITE2012-K00006.pdf

    Anyway, its besides the topic, which is Afghanistan.

    1. “This is completely wrong”
      Bullshit. Don’t lie, Pakistan did get its money back.
      https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/02/03/the-u-s-pakistan-f-16-fiasco/
      “Pakistan received $0 in military aid after the Pressler amendment came into effect from 1990 onwards.”
      Why should they have bankrolled your nuclear program? Beggars can’t be choosers. It is called ‘aid’ and not ‘reimbursement’ for a reason.
      Anyway, its besides the topic, which is Afghanistan. Just don’t lie here.

    2. “received payment for but never delivered?”

      Americans returned the money. Don’t obfuscate.

      “Pakistan received $0 in military aid after the Pressler amendment came into effect from 1990 onwards.”

      Why should it have received any more aid? It is called aid and not re-imbursement for a reason, beggars can’t be choosers.

  7. Man,
    My respect for Najibullah has gone way up. The dude outlasted his Soviet Union’s withdrawal by many years.

    1. The dude had skin in the game. In typical afghan fashion , he fought against overwhelming odds, Pakistan, Taliban, Mujahideen, US and who else. Even kabul fell after much of the city was flatenned by inter factional fighting.
      Let us see who in kabul govt can cobble a coalition to do a fight to the end with Taliban. Even if they do an Assad by aligning completely with Russia , it won’t be a bad idea

  8. one trillion dollars spent on this “army” and this is what US has to show for it!

    had US spent 1/1000th of that money on russian mercenaries, they would have held the ground much better.

    it may still not be too late. russian mercenaries are in demand everywhere. from libya to syria, they will go wherever the money is.

  9. Well I guess what the Americans and NATO with all their firepower could not achieve will be achieved by Russian mercenaries. Wake up and smell the coffee.. Ghani, Saleh etc will be boarding the jets out of Kabul airport before September 11, 2021.

  10. in some sense i feel that afghans brought this upon themselves. for 20 years they were enjoying a pampered life fully paid for by big daddy US. US army was fighting the real battles with taliban as afghan army collected free paychecks. US was paying the salaries of their various government workers and building nice buildings for them, all for free. just a free money utopia. now the real world is upon them.

    now afghan women are posting tearful videos of how scared they are of advancing taliban. well, if you dont want to live under taliban rule, pick up the gun and fight back. if kurdish girls can do it, why can’t you.

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