Author Topic: How the Taliban Paid Their Way to Kabul, Bribing Unpaid Troops  (Read 224 times)

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Offline Mr G

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  • How the Taliban Paid Their Way to Kabul, Bribing Unpaid Troops to Lay Down Their Arms – Anti-Empire

    The spectacular collapse of Afghanistan’s military that has allowed Taliban fighters to reach the gates of Kabul on Sunday despite 20 years of training and billions of dollars in American aid began with a series of deals brokered in rural villages between the militant group and some of the Afghan government’s lowest ranking officials.

    The deals, initially offered early last year, were often described by Afghan officials as cease-fires, but Taliban leaders were in fact offering money in exchange for government forces to hand over their weapons, according to an Afghan officer and U.S. official.
    Over the next year and a half, the meetings advanced to the district level and then rapidly on to provincial capitals, culminating in a breathtaking series of negotiated surrenders by government forces, according to interviews with over a dozen Afghan officers, police, Special Operations troops and other soldiers.

    During just the past week, more than a dozen provincial capitals have fallen to Taliban forces with little or no resistance. Early Sunday morning, the government-held city of Jalalabad surrendered to the militants without a shot fired, and security forces in the districts ringing Kabul simply melted away. Within hours, Taliban forces reached the Afghan capital’s four main entrances unopposed.

    The pace of the military collapse has stunned many American officials and other foreign observers, forcing the U.S. government to dramatically accelerate efforts to remove personnel from its Kabul embassy.

    The Taliban capitalized on the uncertainty caused by the February 2020 agreement reached in Doha, Qatar, between the militant group and the United States calling for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Some Afghan forces realized they would soon no longer be able to count on American air power and other crucial battlefield support and grew receptive to the Taliban’s approaches.
    “Some just wanted the money,” an Afghan Special Forces officer said of those who first agreed to meet with the Taliban. But others saw the U.S. commitment to a full withdrawal as an “assurance” the militants would return to power in Afghanistan and wanted to secure their place on the winning side, he said. The officer spoke on the condition of anonymity because he, like others in this report, were not authorized to disclose information to the press.

    The Doha agreement, designed to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan, instead left many Afghan forces demoralized, bringing into stark relief the corrupt impulses of many Afghan officials and their tenuous loyalty to the country’s central government. Some police officers complained that they had not been paid in six months or more.

    “They saw that docuмent as the end,” the officer said referring to the majority of Afghans aligned with the government. “The day the deal was signed we saw the change. Everyone was just looking out for himself. It was like (the United States) left us to fail.”

    The negotiated surrenders to the Taliban slowly gained pace in the months following the Doha deal, according to a U.S. official and an Afghan officer. Then, after President Joe Biden announced in April that U.S. forces would withdraw from Afghanistan this summer without conditions, the capitulations began to snowball.

    As the militants expanded their control, government-held districts increasingly fell without a fight. Kunduz, the first key city overrun by the militants, was captured a week ago. Days of negotiations mediated by tribal elders resulted in a surrender deal that handed over the last government-controlled base to the Taliban.

    Soon after, negotiations in the western province of Herat yielded the resignation of the governor, top interior ministry and intelligence officials and hundreds of troops. The deal was concluded in a single night.

    “I was so ashamed,” said a Kabul-based interior ministry officer, referring to the surrender of senior interior ministry official Abdul Rahman Rahman in Herat. “I’m just a small person, I’m not that big. If he does that, what should I do?”

    Over the past month, the southern province of Helmand also witnessed a mass surrender. And as Taliban fighters closed in on the southeastern province of Ghazni, its governor fled under Taliban protection only to be arrested by the Afghan government on his way back to Kabul.

    The Afghan military’s fight against the Taliban has involved several capable and motivated elite units. But they were often dispatched to provide backup for less well-trained army and police units that have repeatedly folded under Taliban pressure.

    An Afghan Special Forces officer stationed in Kandahar who had been assigned to protect a critical border crossing recalled being ordered by a commander to surrender. “We want to fight! If we surrender, the Taliban will kill us,” the Special Forces officer said.

    “Don’t fire a single shot,” the commander told them as the Taliban swarmed the area, the officer later recounted. The border police surrendered immediately, leaving the Special Forces unit on its own. A second officer confirmed his colleague’s recollection of the events.

    Unwilling to surrender or fight outmatched, the unit put down their weapons, changed into civilian clothing and fled their post.
    “I feel ashamed of what I’ve done,” said the first officer. But he said if he hadn’t fled, “I would have been sold to the Taliban by my own government.”

    When an Afghan police officer was asked about his force’s apparent lack of motivation, he explained that they haven’t been getting their salaries. Several Afghan police on the front lines in Kandahar before the city fell said they hadn’t been paid in six to nine months. Taliban payoffs have become ever more enticing.

    “Without the United States, there was no fear of being caught for corruption. It brought out the traitors from within our military,” said an Afghan police officer.

    Several officers with the Kandahar police force said corruption was more to blame for the collapse than incompetence. “Honestly I don’t think it can be fixed. I think they need something completely new,” said Ahmadullah Kandahari, an officer in Kandahar’s police force.

    In the days leading up to Kandahar’s capture earlier this month, the toll on the police had become visible. Bacha, a 34-year-old police commander, had been steadily retreating for more than three months. He had grown hunched and his attire more ragged. In an interview, he said the repeated retreats had bruised his pride — but it was going without pay that made him feel desperate.

    “Last time I saw you, the Taliban was offering $150 for anyone from the government to surrender and join them,” he told a reporter as the interview drew to a close. “Do you know, what is the price now?”
    He didn’t laugh and several his men leaned forward, eager to hear the answer.
    Source: The Washington Post

    Online Viva Cristo Rey

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    Re: How the Taliban Paid Their Way to Kabul, Bribing Unpaid Troops
    « Reply #1 on: August 17, 2021, 08:36:16 AM »
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  • If anyone lost a loved one in the Middle East?, they should sue the USA communist government. 

    The USA never helped Hong Kong get their freedom.  It was never about freedom.  We are losing our freedoms here on the home front under lies of protection during health emergency that they created.  

    To live with the Saints in Heaven is all bliss and glory....To live with the saints on Earth is just another story!  (unknown)

    Offline Tallinn Trad

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    Re: How the Taliban Paid Their Way to Kabul, Bribing Unpaid Troops
    « Reply #2 on: August 28, 2021, 01:47:17 AM »
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  • This was obvious.  The trainers in the military who trained the ANA and police all knew this years ago and predicted it in posts on the Internet (forums mostly) as far back as 2011.

    Offline bodeens

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    Re: How the Taliban Paid Their Way to Kabul, Bribing Unpaid Troops
    « Reply #3 on: August 28, 2021, 01:55:22 AM »
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  • Every government on the planet is practically giving money to the Taliban, how are they not to overperform? Who are people fooling? The top 3 military powers in the world are all feeding them gear and somehow (uninformed) people think this is just a ragtag group. If it was permitted (you know who wants this) they would be effective in the Western world too.
    "We dare not even start to hope until the Faith, the true Faith, and its revealed content, are secured in our minds. Only in terms of Faith do we dare to hope."