Pentagon leaders admit they overestimated the Afghan army

(Washington) Pentagon leaders on Tuesday admitted underestimating the demoralization of the Afghan army, the collapse of which in the final days of the withdrawal of foreign troops from Kabul enabled the Taliban to win without a blow after 20 years of war in Afghanistan.

Posted on Sep 28, 2021 at 12:47 pm

“We built a state, but we couldn’t create a nation,” admitted Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who spoke to Senate elected officials about the chaotic end of the war in Afghanistan.

“That the Afghan army we trained with our partners collapsed – often without firing a bullet – surprised us all,” said Austin. “It would be dishonest to say otherwise. ”

“We failed to realize the extent of the corruption and incompetence of their senior officers, we did not measure the damage caused by President Ashraf Ghani’s frequent and inexplicable changes in command, we did not ‘we did not foresee the snowball effect’ Taliban agreements with four local commanders under the Doha Agreement, nor the fact that the Doha Agreement had demoralized the Afghan army, ”he enumerated.

The government of Donald Trump signed a historic agreement with the Taliban on February 29, 2020 in Doha, which saw the withdrawal of all foreign soldiers before the 1st in Kabul.

After several months of deliberation, Joe Biden had decided to respect this agreement and at the same time to extend the withdrawal period to August 31.

Chief of Staff Mark Milley pointed out that the decision to withdraw military advisors from Afghanistan deployed to Afghan units contributed to overestimating the Afghan army’s capacity.

“We couldn’t fully assess the morale and will of the command,” he said. “You can count planes, trucks, vehicles, cars […] but you cannot measure the human heart with a machine. […] You have to be there. ”

The chief of staff and the minister differed when an elected official asked them whether the withdrawal had “damaged” the United States’ reputation.

“I think that our credibility with our allies and partners in the world, as well as with our opponents, will be very carefully checked,” said the chief of staff. “Damaged is a word that can be used, yes. ”

“I think our credibility remains strong,” Austin said on the contrary.

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