Afghanistan’s former finance minister has claimed that “ghost troopers” and corrupt authorities officers had been liable for the Taliban’s means to rapidly seize management of the nation, as NATO forces withdrew their personnel.
Talking on Wednesday, Khalid Payenda, who served because the Afghan finance minister instantly earlier than the Taliban’s takeover, claimed that round 300,000 troopers and cops listed on the federal government’s payroll didn’t exist.
The so-called “ghost troopers” had been saved on the books by corrupt officers who pocketed their wages, based on Payenda, who stated they had been “desertions [and] martyrs who had been by no means accounted for” by commanders who “would maintain their financial institution playing cards.”
The state of affairs allowed the Taliban to rapidly seize management of territory in Afghanistan, as American and NATO forces withdrew from the nation. Attributable to false accounting by provincial officers, Payenda says that the precise numbers had been inflated by as much as six occasions the precise determine.
The USA had beforehand raised considerations concerning the precise variety of troops and police in Afghanistan, with a 2016 US Particular Inspector Common report laying out these fears. “Neither the US nor its Afghan allies know what number of Afghan troopers and police really exist,” the report acknowledged.
Alongside the problem of “ghost troopers,” Payenda recommended that army officers had engaged in “double-dipping,” the place they’d accepted authorities salaries and funds from the Taliban to give up with none resistance.
Regardless of this, Payenda defended the previous authorities and its president, Ashraf Ghani, refuting allegations that these on the prime had been “financially corrupt,” laying the blame on provincial figures.
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The Taliban’s swift victory earlier this yr, after greater than 20 years of US forces and NATO troopers within the nation, stunned officers world wide, who expressed shock on the velocity of the militant group’s advance.
Talking following the Afghan authorities’s collapse, President Joe Biden admitted his personal shock at how rapidly issues fell aside, arguing that worldwide forces had given the Afghan authorities “each probability” to find out its personal future.
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