Soldiers of the army of Afghanistan
Recall that recently, at the Munich Conference, US Vice President Joe Biden, giving a speech, call Western wars against Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan "major successes." Unable to resist, he even called them “models for future campaigns”.
As if having taken the baton from Mr. Biden, General Allen in an interview with the BBC saidthat the coalition is ... "on the road to victory."
Nikita Mendkovich, an expert at the Center for the Study of Modern Afghanistan, among others indicates and some of the achievements of the ISAF. For example, the number of militant attacks decreased at the end of 2012 of the year: in the last 3 of the month, the number of their “shares” was less by 18% than in the same period of 2011 of the year. Afghan Interior Ministry reported the destruction of 3328 militants over the past year and the arrest of 3480. The number of those killed corresponds to last year’s statistics, but the number of those arrested is a record low: 4600 in 2009, with more than 5000 people in 2010-2011. True, such a strong reduction in the number of prisoners is partly explained by the fact that the conduct of “night raids” was transferred to the forces of the Afghan army, for the fighters of which is characteristic destruction, not the capture of the enemy. This is due, among other things, to the relatively weak training of the Afghan military: they do not always know how to capture a dangerous enemy. We are talking about the cruelties of the civil war, as well as fear of revenge: the terrorists, after bribing officials and getting out of prison, can then repay the fighters.
The analyst notes that the number of Afghan army soldiers killed last year was 1065 people - against 635 a year earlier. Such negative dynamics can be regarded as the success of the armed opposition.
Statements about the "success" and "victory" can be argued by the internal political situation in the country - and it evolved more or less favorably for official Kabul.
Not to mention the self-infighting of the Afghans over the captured Taliban militants, it should be noted that by the middle of last year the “National Uprising Movement” started, anti-Taliban militias began to form in the Afghan provinces. However, data from sociological surveys provide a less optimistic picture. Researchers say that in 2012, the decline in the level of sympathy for Afghans for the armed opposition, which lasted for the last few years, stopped. The share of respondents who admitted some sympathies to the militants even increased from 28 to 30%, while the proportion of sympathizers among the Pashtun population grew from 37 to 39%.
N. Mendkovich notes that the situation in Afghanistan is worsening under the influence of problems associated with the transfer of responsibility from foreign troops to the Afghan side: after all about the 80% of operations conducted in Afghanistan are led by the Afghan military, but most of the units operate with the support of the ISAF. There is evidence that in a number of provinces the process of transferring responsibility is associated with a host of security problems. The Afghan side complains about the lack of people, the low level of equipment and training, which do not allow to keep the rule of law in the region at an appropriate level.
It is stated that in the year 2012 the Afghan army was not fully prepared for independent warfare.
However, the past year ended the series of defeats for the Taliban 2010-2012. The military situation has stabilized again. The Taliban only hope that the Americans will soon leave ...
If the 2012 tendencies continue further, the Taliban, the analyst writes, will be able to maintain a significant part of the personnel and infrastructure - up to the withdrawal of foreign troops. And there you can wait for attempts to repeat the events of 1989 of the year.
Negotiations between Presidents Obama and Karzai recently took place in Washington. It was decided that by the end of 2014, the American military contingent would remain small in Afghanistan. Moreover, by the spring of this year, US troops will complete most of their operations and switch to the support of the Afghan military. “Starting this spring, our troops will have a different task: training, consulting, helping the Afghan forces,” said Obama. Valery Ross noticesthat the training of the Afghan security forces by American instructors, according to a joint statement by Karzai and Obama, was characterized as so successful that it even surpassed "all expectations". Rhetoric, frankly, fanfare. It can be noted that Biden and Allen simply repeat after Obama.
Today there is no exact data on how many American troops will remain in Afghanistan: the military recommends that Obama keep there from 6 to 15 thousands of troops. Both Obama and Karzai support the idea of negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Meanwhile, Michael Okhenlon, an analyst at the Brookings Research Institute, believes that there is no reason to rush into a complete withdrawal of troops:
“Yes, the Americans are tired of this war, but they also understand that we have invested a lot in it over the last 12 years - and that, unfortunately, our achievements are still very fragile,” he says. - It is necessary to turn this exit process into a more gradual one, not to dwell on the numbers. It is possible to complete the withdrawal of troops to both 2018 and 2020. By the 2015 th Afghan military will still need air support, evacuation of the wounded. This does not mean that you need to stay there forever. ”
According to the analyst, who seems to be fairly balanced and very far from the apotheosis of both the ISAF and the fighters of the Afghan security forces, now the Afghan troops are not able to contain the onslaught of the Taliban and control the territory. By the way, this was confirmed in a recent report by the Pentagon. It was reported that from the Afghan battalion 31 only one can be fully combat-ready.
The American analyst mentioned above does not miss a chance to boast about American democracy:
“... Soviet troops occupied Afghanistan, bombed villages, killed hundreds of thousands of Afghans. The behavior of the Soviet troops, perhaps legitimately compared only with the war in Vietnam. There is no doubt that the US has coped with the war in Afghanistan is not in the best example, and we leave there the local army and police, who over time will be able to ensure the safety of citizens. Since the beginning of the war there have been free democratic elections - twice. We gave the Afghans the right to make independent decisions. ”
“Not an example better”? It depends on what example to give. It should be noted that only for 2012 a year, according to the report of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, on the Afghan fields Was collected 3.700.000 tons of opium poppy - raw materials for the manufacture of heroin. And last year, the number of poppy grown somewhat decreased - no, not because of the opposition of the NATO forces, but because of the bad weather and the disease that hit the plants.
The villagers have significantly expanded the area planted with poppy seeds. Compared to 2011, they grew by almost 20% (from 131 thousands of hectares to 154 thousands).
By the way, now 80% of the total world crop of opium poppy is removed in Afghanistan.
So much for “independent decisions”. The big question, of course, is who accepts them: the Afghans or their “democratizers”.
This is the first. But the second.
In 2012, corruption in Afghanistan reached a record level, damaging the country's budget of 3,9 billion dollars (data from a study of the UN Committee on Drugs and Crime, conducted jointly with the anti-corruption agency of Afghanistan). Ascertainedthat the volume of bribes increased compared to 2009 year on 40%.
The “independence” of Afghans in this area is manifested in the fact that half of the adult population of the country, without extinguishing and not hiding, regularly pays government officials (at least one bribe during the year). The one who does not have the opportunity to give bribes, as a result, turns out to be “on the sidelines”: these people are cut off from public services and cannot get a job in public services.
Education in Afghanistan is completely corroded by corruption. While in 2009, the entire 16% of Afghans gave bribes to teachers, in 2012, their number increased to 51%. Teachers are paid to correct the assessment or tell them how to solve problems.
The study found that the majority of the adult population of Afghanistan now considers bribes an acceptable phenomenon. In 2012, 68% of respondents said they did not condemn officials who charge extra for “services”: after all, officials have a low salary. In 2009, these people were 42%.
Against this background, Afghan President Hamid Karzai regularly promises to defeat corruption. And his statements can be put on a par with the victorious reports of Mr. Obama, Biden and Allen.
To this must be added the third: Afghanistan lives on western handouts. Foreign partners is coming pay for the content of the Afghan army. The Afghan army and police are likely to be funded from a special NATO fund. It is expected that the United States will make more money than other members of the alliance - 2,3 billion dollars. This is a lot for NATO: there are not enough funds in the fund now. And to solve the financial problem, the United States expects to reduce the Afghan security forces to 2017 thousand employees by 228,5, hoping that by then the situation in the country will fully stabilize.
Currently already export started from the Afghan territory of American military equipment. Last Sunday, 25 containers with equipment, which was located at the Bagram military base, entered the territory of Pakistan.
Maria Abi-Habib in the Wall Street Journal пишетthat General Joseph Dunford will have to sum up the long foreign war and bring home most of the 66.000 American soldiers who are still fighting in Afghanistan.
Dunford was born in Boston in the 1955 year, he never fought in Afghanistan. He is a veteran of the war in Iraq, where he commanded the fifth regiment of marines - the most heroic. He served a total of 22 in Iraq for a month.
Mr. Dunford will face significant problems in Afghanistan, the journalist writes: there is training for local forces to take responsibility for the security of the country and ensuring the security of the presidential elections next year, and the fight against rebels, who are pretty strong.
The general has already stated that we are not talking about any changes; on the contrary, one must speak of "continuity." After all, the will of the coalition "has not changed."
It is curious that General Martin Dempsey, Head of the United States Central Command, General James Mattis, and others, came from America to Kabul for Sunday’s appointment ceremony for the general’s appointment, and President Hamid Karzai didn’t come there, although, of course, was invited. For some reason it did not work out: they did not get through to Comrade Karzai by phone, and he did not answer by e-mail.
Relations with Karzai, the journalist says, will be a serious problem that General Dunford will also have to tackle - especially in the 2014 year when elections are held. After all, earlier Karzai repeatedly accused Western capitals of interfering in the Afghan presidential election.
It is believed that both the Americans and the Afghan government are now striving for the same goal: to reach a peace agreement with the Taliban, realizing that a real military victory in Afghanistan remains unattainable.
By the way, General Allen acknowledged it all the same:
“Our victory here will never be marked by a parade or a memorable date on the calendar - the day the victory was announced. This rebellion will be suppressed for a long time to come - by legitimate and well-trained Afghan forces that are beginning to operate today. ”
David S. Klawi and Sheshenk Bengal (Los Angeles Times) writethat Washington is going to rely on rural police in Afghanistan in the coming months.
The special operations command plan is that the Pentagon will finance the Afghan local police for at least another five years: 1,2 billion dollars to pay for the work of 45 thousands of fighters (now their 19.600).
Meanwhile, these same rural fighters are by no means an alternative to the regular Afghan security forces (except perhaps cheaper). These village fighter warriors are selected on tribal councils. Preparation takes three weeks. These people have no authority to arrest; they are not required to investigate crimes. Their mission is to protect their village from militants. What to say: they suffer significant losses. Afghan officials report that, of the militia fighters, 6,2% is injured or killed, compared to less than 3% of the Afghan army soldiers and police officers.
“After the NATO forces leave, they (the fighters) will go over to the Taliban side,” warns Atikulla Amarhail, an independent military analyst.
Other Afghan officials also view the rural militia as unstable and even dangerous. They warn that giving weapons and military training of local tribes - a recipe for increasing crime and the emergence of new "warlords." All of this will undermine the credibility of the Afghan government and the regular army. The expansion of the village "force" will exacerbate all the problems. Therefore, it is widely believed in Afghanistan that Washington should not increase the number of rural “guards”. According to Sher Kamaval Aziz, head of the committee on security affairs in parliament, Washington "should invest in training, equipping and increasing the number of the Afghan army." After all, it comes to the fact that in other cases, the militia hunt residents, and not protect them.
However, other officials say no one will leave justice.
Thus, the Americans, in advance "prescribing" in stories their own and NATO activities, declare it a major success, a victory, and even a model for subsequent operations. At the same time, the main current goal of the activities of the envoys of Washington is not at all the performance of solemnly sounding marches and a search in the calendar for a suitable day to celebrate Victory Day over the Taliban. No, the Americans are trying to save money on Afghanistan: for example, use it to ensure internal security in the country in which they "operate" from 2001 onwards, cheap to operate rural police. True, the latter happen to prey on their own neighbors, and in 2014, the companies with the Taliban will start to hunt Karzai. But bezrybe and cancer fish: in the Washington treasury is empty.
Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru