The fourth in the country’s history… Does the new Afghan army include Taliban “suicide bombers”?
During the last century, the Afghan forces collapsed 3 times as a result of internal disputes; It was unable to withstand the armed opposition in 1929. It also collapsed after the withdrawal of Soviet forces in 1989. Its collapse came recently after the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2021, when it could not withstand the Taliban attacks for more than 11 days.
Kabul- Five months after the withdrawal of US forces and the collapse of the Afghan army, the new government announced the completion of 80% of the process of equipping the country’s new army with more than 100,000 soldiers.
According to an official in the Afghan Ministry of Defense, the “command” has formed a 20-member committee to develop a strategy for forming the armed forces in Afghanistan, and the Taliban militants will be given priority. The formation of the nucleus of the Afghan army dates back to the early 18th century, in the southern province of Kandahar, at the hands of the Afghan “Hotak” family.
In the year 1880, Prince Abdul Rahman Khan reconstituted his forces again, and this army stood neutral during the first and second world wars. History has recorded the collapse of the Afghan forces during the last century 3 times as a result of internal disputes; It was unable to withstand the armed opposition in 1929.
This army also collapsed after the withdrawal of the former Soviet forces in 1989. Its collapse came recently after the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan in 2021, when it could not withstand the attacks of Taliban militants for more than 11 days. The collapse of the Afghan army was not recorded in an external war, but was always the result of internal differences and conflicts.
I am patriotic and care about the Air Force
Afghan military expert Matin Mohammadi says that the government’s announcement of the formation of a new army is a commendable step, “but it must form a trained national army.”
Mohammadi called on the Taliban-led government to allow the integration of elements from the former forces into the new formation “because they are Afghans”, and not to “repeat the mistakes made by the previous government, as it did not care about the air force, which is a mainstay in any army in the world.”
Although the government announced the formation of a new army, it did not announce its military doctrine, in addition to a contradiction in the statements of the military leadership regarding the number of its forces.
inconsistency in number
Afghan Defense Ministry spokesman Inayat Khwarizmi says the army will be 100,000. While the commander of the Afghan army, Qari Fasih al-Din Fitrat, told Al Jazeera Net that “the number of the new army will reach 150,000, and that 80% of the recruitment process has been completed.”
A source in the Afghan Defense Ministry told Al-Jazeera Net, “The leader of the Taliban movement, Sheikh Haibatullah Akhundzadeh, has approved a budget for 250 thousand soldiers, 100 thousand of them will be for the Ministry of Defense, 100 thousand police for the Interior, and 50 thousand for the Intelligence.”
According to the official in the Taliban government, Latifullah Hakimi, the announced number is not final, and he told Al-Jazeera Net, “We have started the training process for all forces, and we will give the opportunity to a number of former forces, and we are currently studying all the previous laws and we will choose from them what suits our situation in forming the new army.”
Hakimi pointed out that there were “significant observations” on the basis set by the United States for the formation of the former Afghan army.
Inclusion of Taliban suicide bombers
The statements of the Afghan government spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, regarding the integration of suicide bombers from the movement’s elements into special forces in the new army, aroused concern and resentment in the Afghan street. According to the spokesman, they have undergone advanced training and can work in the special forces.
Afghan citizen Abdul Karim Jalili, who lost his brother in a Taliban suicide attack five years ago near the headquarters of the Afghan Ministry of Interior, said, “I cannot forget my brother’s blood. These people shed innocent blood. How can we be satisfied with them? They should not have any role in the armed forces and statements.” Mujahid provocative.
Other families saw that Mujahid, in his latest announcement, did not respect the feelings of the victims’ families towards those who killed their children.
Military and strategic expert Dawlat Waziri says, “If we look at the history of the Afghan army, we will find that it was influenced by the Turkish, Indian, Soviet, and finally American models, and this affected its identity, training and education.” According to Waziri, the Afghan army fundamentally lacked a national model compatible with the Afghan environment and geography.
The military expert called on the Taliban to form an army according to its economic capacity, “because donors will impose their conditions on any national army.”
In building the new army, the government formed 6 corps in different regions of Afghanistan, and each corps includes 3,600 soldiers, all of whom are Taliban militants. They did not participate in the training courses announced by the Afghan Ministry of Defense to train its members.
Destroyed or confiscated aircraft
Prior to their withdrawal from Afghanistan last summer, US forces destroyed 72 military aircraft at Kabul Airport, and Afghan pilots transported more than 200 other aircraft to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Regarding the maintenance and recovery of these planes, the official, Latifullah Hakimi, said that his government was able to maintain 42 military planes, and discussed with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan the return of the transported planes because “they belong to the Afghan people and not to the previous government,” but added, “We feel that they are procrastinating in the matter.”