‘US, allies made basic mistakes in Afghan war’

Hassan NaqviReporter

16th Aug, 2021. 09:04 pm
Afghanistan

LAHORE: With the Taliban gaining complete control over Afghanistan and the Ashraf Ghani-led government practically ousted, the two decades-long war has finally come to an end in the troubled country.

In an exclusive conversation with Bol News, former Ambassador M Alam Brohi who is also an expert on Afghanistan affairs said that the US and its allies made basic mistakes in fighting this war against ragtag Taliban.

“Instead of increasing their land force to disrupt, defeat and disarm the Taliban in the initial years, they subcontracted the fight to warlords, allocating heavy funds to them. The warlords replenished their coffers but never earnestly pursued the Taliban,” observed Brohi.

He added that the Afghan Airforce was dependent for maintenance on US and NATO officials. With their withdrawal, the Airforce remained grounded. “The US could not find airstrips in nearby countries to give air support to the Afghan Army.”

Ambassador Brohi said sorties, flown from warships anchored somewhere in the Middle East, were not feasible or effective. “Then, bombardment in populated district capitals was bound to cause a lot of collateral loss of life and property, making the US liable for war crimes,” he added.

For him, the sudden and abrupt withdrawal timeline emboldened the Taliban and demoralised the Afghan Army, with huge shrinkage of their supply lines.

Ambassador Brohi said that the Kabul regime remained at loggerhead with Pakistan throughout at the behest of India, knowing that it was the only country to have some influence with the Taliban.

“Ashraf Ghani had a delusion about the help of the warlords, strength, motivation of his army, continuous economic and strategic support of the US, and his popularity in the Afghan masses, he said.

The Americans also shared his delusion that there will be a stalemate in the war which will force the Taliban to accept the power sharing formula on his terms.

Ambassador Brohi said that the main spoiling role was played by India, feeding wrong assessments to the US and Afghan regime and supplying arms.

He suggested that now when the Taliban have taken over the country, they should concentrate on governance and avoid indulging in actions repugnant to the international community including schooling of girls, employment of women, human right violations, reprisals etc.

He claimed that the ISI and the TTP are still in their dens unaffected. Moreover the Taliban have an agreement with the TTP that they will not attack each other. Therefore, there is no room for Pakistan to relax.

“Nevertheless, for the time being the main support of these terrorists which was RAW has been displaced and it will take them some time to regroup and put into place a new system by which they can reestablish their contacts with the terrorists,” he said.

“As for the BLA, which received huge amounts of funds from RAW in Kandahar, they have been displaced and have entered Balochistan and reached the Kohlu area where they have made a number of attacks on the outposts of the FC.”

“I have seen a video on the internet where an assault on the FC outpost is depicted and in which unfortunately our FC suffers casualties,” he stated, adding that despite the setback, one encouraging feature was that unlike the Afghan Army, Pakistani soldiers did not run but stood up bravely and fought for hours.

He added that if they could only have had some backup or drone support against BLA, the separatists would have been wiped out.  “I am not the only one saying this, but a lot of retired army officers said the same thing in their comments on the Pak Defense Forum. I hope Sheikh Rashid would pay attention and improve the vehicles with armour and the weaponry and provide bulletproof jackets to FC Balochistan,” said Brohi.

“This is the time when the terrorists have been temporarily dislocated, the Afghan NDS dispersed. We should take maximum advantage of the situation and go on the offensive and inflict heavy losses on these terrorists.”

 

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