The US-Taliban pact is the biggest reason for the decline of Afghan forces: US Watchdog

The US-Taliban pact is the biggest reason for the decline of Afghan forces: US Watchdog

The Taliban occupied Afghanistan in August last year. (File)

Washington:

The biggest reason for the collapse of the Afghan army in August last year was the US decision to withdraw troops and contractors from Afghanistan through an agreement signed by the Trump administration with the Taliban and implemented by the Biden administration, a US Watchdog report concludes. .

The withdrawal “destroyed” the morale of the Afghan military because it relied on US military assistance, according to an assessment by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or Cigar, released late Tuesday.

SIGAR found that the United States was the single most important factor in the collapse of the ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) in August 2021. Following the announcement of President Biden’s withdrawal, “the report states.

Under US President Joe Biden’s Republican predecessor Donald Trump, the United States reached an agreement with the Islamist Taliban to withdraw all American forces.

Since the agreement was signed, US military assistance to Afghan forces has declined, including a reduction in airstrikes in 2020, after a record high of the previous year, the report added.

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko said the ANDSF had no major advantage in keeping the Taliban out of the country after the US-Taliban agreement was signed next year.

The Taliban occupied Afghanistan in August when the former Western-backed government collapsed at a surprising pace and withdrew the last U.S. troops.

Biden argued that the war in Afghanistan needed to end after a 20-year war that had cost Americans lives, wasted resources and deviated from broader strategic priorities.

The US Congress has set up SIGAR’s office to oversee reconstruction projects and activities during the war in Afghanistan.

“Many Afghans felt that the US-Taliban deal was an act of bad faith and it was a signal that the US was handing over Afghanistan to the enemy while they were in a hurry to leave the country,” Sopko said.

(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)

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