(TheRedWire.com) – On Monday the government’s watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction said that the United States had failed to establish “an independent and self-sustainable” security force in Afghanistan despite being in the region for more than 20 years.
Afghanistan fell to the Taliban as soon as the U.S. troops withdrew from the country in August 2021, despite $90 billion spent on the operations in the country. In the days before the U.S. withdrawal, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) seemed to be pulling back which ultimately allowed the Taliban to take over Kabul and the rest of the country.
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko in his final report noted that the disintegration was a result of the ANDSF being dependent on the U.S. military force. With its withdrawal, U.S. support was dramatically reduced which led to a decline in “the morale of Afghan soldiers and police.” He added that the United States had no “political will” or “dedicated resources to initiate the wholesale development of another nation’s army.”
He concluded that the eventual collapse was “predictable” as the U.S. had failed to establish a force that could operate entirely independently. For this, he blamed both insufficient planning and the general lack of oversight on the billions of dollars that were spent on weapons and equipment that were provided to the Afghan forces. Following the withdrawal of the U.S., American troops left behind close to $7.2 billion and equipment. These included at least 78 aircraft and more than 40,000 vehicles that the Taliban could use.
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