Afghan military may collapse after foreign troop withdrawal, warns US general
A high-ranking general of US forces warned that the Afghan forces may not be able to hold on once all foreign troops depart from Afghanistan. The warning came during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Gen Kenneth Mckenzie, the chief of the US Central Command, said, “I am concerned about the ability of the Afghan military to hold on after we leave, the ability of the Afghan Air Force to fly, in particular, after we remove the support for those aircraft.”
The warning from the top commander came weeks after US President Joe Biden announced withdrawing all foreign troops from Afghanistan by 11 September this year. Biden set the deadline unconditionally.
It should be noted here US contractors are currently responsible for most of the maintenance work in the Afghan Air Force. He said there was no guarantee that Afghan forces would be able to take full charge of the same before the US and NATO troops departed.
On the $4 billion US assistance provided to the Afghan forces annually, he said, “If we don’t provide them some support, they certainly will collapse. And, I think that’s not in our best interest.”
During the hearing, Gen Mckenzie said the US planned to continue assisting the Afghan forces financially. However, he warned it would be harder to do the same without people on the ground.
The Afghan state, which relies on funds from the West, is notorious for the leakages in form of corruption. As foreign troops withdraw, and with limited diplomatic staff in the country, it might become hard for donors to do an audit of the donated funds.