Afghan Collapse Due Mostly to US Withdrawal, Says New Report

Afghan Collapse Due Mostly to US Withdrawal, Says New Report

US Government Sabotaged a Nation – Watchdog Group Tells What Happened

( – During the 2016 presidential election, then-Republican candidate Donald Trump said the US would change course on nation-building if he were elected president. Instead, Trump said he would focus on destroying extremist organizations. In August 2019, NBC News reported that then-President Trump informed his administration he wanted the US military to pull out of Afghanistan.

In February 2020, the Trump administration negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the Taliban and set May 1, 2021, as the final withdrawal date. During the 2020 campaign, then-Democratic candidate Joe Biden agreed with Trump that the war needed to end. On August 31, 2021, the last US military airplane left Afghanistan as it fell to the Taliban. Now, a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says the military withdrawal caused the Afghan government to collapse.

Military Withdrawal to Blame for Afghan Government’s Collapse

On Wednesday, May 18, the SIGAR’s 63-page report was the first government document to report why and how Afghan forces fell apart as the Taliban took control of the country after a nearly 20-year occupation by the US military. The report cited several reasons for the failure, chief among them the drawdown by Trump in early 2021 and the complete withdrawal by Biden in August 2021.

The Special Investigator General for Afghanistan, John Sopko, told Politico he wasn’t surprised that the Afghan government collapsed. For nearly 10 years, Sopko bore the challenge of ensuring the US correctly used the resources Congress provided the military to contain the situation in Afghanistan and prevent another terrorist attack in the United States.

The report said the problem started early in the Afghanistan occupation. The inspector general noted a senior US military commander said the US built the Afghan army to rely on contractor support, and without it, the Afghan military couldn’t function. When the contractors pulled out, there was no one to help the Afghan military maintain its hardware. The moment the contractors left, Sopko wrote, the Afghan military’s morale dropped precipitously.

Sopko noted once President Biden decided to leave, the collapse of the Afghan government to the Taliban was inevitable. The SIGAR pointed out the withdrawal was the single most significant factor in the Afghan government’s collapse.

Biden’s Withdrawal the Final Nail in the Coffin

The SIGAR noted that low pay and poor logistics led to water and food shortages, often causing Afghan military-led commanders to become corrupt. The report added commanders colluded with contractors to make money from food and fuel contracts.

Most importantly, the report said Biden’s complete withdrawal was the final nail in the coffin. A senior Afghan official told the inspector general that once Biden made the declaration, the government’s inner circle knew the army no longer had the supply or logistics capability to defend itself.

The lack of contractor support led to aircraft maintenance issues leaving too many aircraft grounded and unavailable for patrol. The report also said the US military created a false belief that Afghan security forces were competent despite the fact they couldn’t fulfill military missions without US support.

Ultimately, the report concluded the US government continually changed the rules and milestones and created an unrealistic time frame. The SIGAR said the result was eerily similar to Vietnam.

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