‘It was too late’: Afghan commander says army ‘lost its will to fight’ after US ‘betrayal’

By Jennie Taer

An Afghan Army commander said Wednesday that the reason his troops couldn’t fight any longer against the Taliban was largely because they felt abandoned by the U.S. and President Joe Biden.

“It’s true that the Afghan Army lost its will to fight. But that’s because of the growing sense of abandonment by our American partners and the disrespect and disloyalty reflected in Mr. Biden’s tone and words over the past few months,” Afghan General Sami Sadat wrote in a New York Times op-ed.

“The Afghan Army is not without blame. It had its problems — cronyism, bureaucracy — but we ultimately stopped fighting because our partners already had,” he said.

Sadat described the Afghan Army’s three and a half month-long attempt to keep the Taliban from controlling Helmand Province. He said that it wasn’t until he was called to Kabul by President Ashraf Ghani, who appointed him as commander of Afghanistan’s special forces, that the army lost control to the Taliban.

“But the Taliban already were entering the city; it was too late,” he said.

Sadat said that the U.S. had pulled key support from the army and it left the troops with their hands tied.

“It pains me to see Mr. Biden and Western officials are blaming the Afghan Army for collapsing without mentioning the underlying reasons that happened,” Sadat said. “Political divisions in Kabul and Washington strangled the army and limited our ability to do our jobs.”

“Losing combat logistical support that the United States had provided for years crippled us, as did a lack of clear guidance from U.S. and Afghan leadership,” Sadat said.

While Sadat largely blamed Biden for the “betrayal,” he said former President Donald Trump’s February 2020 peace deal with the Taliban was partly responsible. Still, Sadat said his troops kept fighting and it wasn’t until Biden’s decision to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan that things started to turn south.

“It put an expiration date on American interest in the region,” Sadat wrote. “Second, we lost contractor logistics and maintenance support critical to our combat operations. Third, the corruption endemic in Mr. Ghani’s government that flowed to senior military leadership and long crippled our forces on the ground irreparably hobbled us.”

The Biden administration announced the withdrawal decision in April to leave by Sept. 11 and began executing the plan earlier this month with the earlier deadline of Aug. 31. As the U.S. began the withdrawal and evacuations of Americans and vulnerable Afghans, the Taliban in a matter of days took control of many cities, including the country’s capital of Kabul, leading Ghani to flee the country.

The U.S. trained and fought alongside Afghan troops throughout the 20 year war. The Afghan army had 182,071 soldiers as of April, according to a Pentagon Inspector General report.

Biden said last week that the U.S. couldn’t give the Afghan army “the will to fight” for their future.

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Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Jonathan Mallard

5 thoughts on “‘It was too late’: Afghan commander says army ‘lost its will to fight’ after US ‘betrayal’

  1. The Afghan Army was a bunch of mercenaries hired and armed and trained by the US.

    These mercenaries got paychecks and benefits, and ACTED to create the appearance of an army (with all the bells and whistles), but it was not a dedicated FIGHTING force with their OWN, realistic political goals.

    Fighting for the political goals of foreigners, i.e., US, is never a good idea.

    The Taliban is a medley of diverse tribes (in diversity is strength; too much diversity creates chaos, as in Babel), with a common goals “Make Afghanistan Great Again (MAGA), and Free From Foreign Domination and Influence Again (FFDAFA).

    That is why they want to RE-ESTABLISH Sharia Law. More power to THEM.

    The mercenaries and other collaborators and their families need to stay in Afghanistan, and sincerely offer their valuable skills and services to the Taliban to destroy ISIS, the extremist worldwide troublemakers.

    • I think you are right in this. There was never any true loyalty to their country….our policy was wrong there for the last 20 years and through the last four Presidents and administrations.
      However, President Biden did not have the right team in place that could carry the withdrawal off well.

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