In Summer 2021, the Afghan National Army disintegrated in the face of the 2021 Taliban offensive.
Military history has taught us that the armies that fall apart in a few days, without a fight, take place from the rear, in fact from the desistance of the leaders.
The psychological breakdown, not new in military history, took place at the Army Central Command, it is necessary to understand what protocol NATO had applied for the management of the post withdrawal.
He certainly did not apply the Gerasimov Doctrine
The morale of the troops must be fed from the top.
Because the question in the head of the military, the penalty of dying for corrupt rulers is around the corner.
Especially for an elite taking selfies in Dubai or fighting for progressive battles.
The Taliban rally
In 2021, the United States forces and allies started to withdraw from Afghanistan which allowed the Taliban to intensify their insurgency. The Taliban controls more than 85% of Afghanistan.
On 29 June, intense fighting between Taliban insurgents and government forces killed 28 civilians and injured another 290 during the past week, according to the head of a hospital in Kunduz, with the majority of the dead being children, women and elderly people. The Taliban had moved beyond its southern strongholds and had intensified the fighting in the north, according to military experts.
Bagram Airfield Crack
On 2 July, U.S. troops fully left Bagram Airfield, handing it to the Afghan Armed Forces as the coalition, including the U.S., prepared to leave Afghanistan after 20 years. Meanwhile, fighting continued between the Taliban and government forces, with analysts said that the Taliban would be “at the door of Kabul”.
Afterwards, Bagram Airfield was looted by locals following the sudden American withdrawal from the airbase, which was conducted without any coordination with local officials. Afghan troops later cleared the airbase of looters and secured control of it.
However, it was reported that, during June, the Taliban captured 700 Humvees as well as dozens of armored vehicles and artillery systems from the Afghan National Army as more districts fall under the group’s control during their offensive in the north.
Afghan officials complained that the Americans left without notifying the new Afghan commander until more than two hours after leaving the base. As a result, the base was ransacked by looters before they could take control of the airport.
On 4 July, the Taliban took control of several further districts overnight as Afghan troops abandoned their posts and fled into neighboring Tajikistan via Badakhshan Province. The State Committee for National Security of Tajikistan reported that more than 300 Afghan troops crossed the Tajik border as Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed that most of the territory gaining occurred without a fight.
On 5 July, Afghan presidential advisor Hamdullah Mohib said that there would be a counter-offensive against the Taliban in the north after the group captured six districts in Badakhshan Province. A day earlier, at least 1,037 Afghan troops abandoned their positions and fled into Tajikistan.
On 7 July, Taliban insurgents entered Qala e Naw, the provincial capital of Badghis Province, with heavy fighting reported as the militants moved “towards the centre of the city”. All government officials in the city had been moved to a nearby army base, while the Taliban had freed about 400 prisoners from the city’s prison.
On 9 July, the Taliban captured the border town of Islam Qala, Herat, Afghanistan’s biggest border crossing with Iran.
On the same day, Taliban insurgents captured the border town of Torghundi on the border with Turkmenistan as the Afghan National Security Forces collapsed in Herat.The Interior Ministry said that troops had been “temporarily relocated” and that efforts were underway to recapture the border crossing. In addition, a spokesperson for Kandahar Province Governor Rohullah Khanzada mentioned that the Taliban had started fighting to capture the city of Kandahar.
On 22 July, 100 people were killed in a mass shooting in Spin Boldak District.
On 3 August, a suicide car bomber and gunmen attacked Kabul. Thirteen people — including five attackers — were killed.
On 9 August, #SanctionPakistan became one of the top Twitter trends in Afghanistan and worldwide, with Afghans holding Pakistan responsible for its support of the Taliban.
By 12 August, about two-thirds of the country was in Taliban hands, with only four cities outside of Taliban control. Sectors of the United States government estimated that Kabul would fall within 30 days, and American diplomats were reportedly requesting that the Taliban not deface the American embassy there.
The estimate proved incorrect: the rest of the country fell to the Taliban within a few days, with the capital of Kabul surrendering and President Ashraf Ghani fleeing the country during the evening of 15 August.
The Afghan National Army
The Afghan National Army was founded with the issue of a decree by President Hamid Karzai on December 1, 2002.
Upon his election Karzai set a goal of an Army of at least 70,000 soldiers by 2009. However, the Afghan Defense Minister, Abdul Rahim Wardak, said that at least 200,000 active troops were needed. The Afghan Ministry of Defence also loudly objected to the smaller, volunteer, nature of the new army, a change from the previous usage of conscripts. The U.S. also blocked the new government from using the army to pressure Pakistan.
The first new Afghan kandak (battalion) was trained by British Army personnel of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), becoming 1st Battalion, Afghan National Guard. Yet while the British troops provided high quality training, they were few in number. After some consideration, it was decided that the United States might be able to provide the training. Thus follow-on kandaks were recruited and trained by 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group.
3rd SFG built the training facilities and ranges for early use, using a Soviet built facility on the eastern side of Kabul, near the then ISAF headquarters.
Recruiting and training commenced in May 2002, with a difficult but successful recruitment process of bringing hundreds of new recruits in from all parts of Afghanistan. Training was initially done in Pashto language Pashto and Dari (Persian dialect) and some Arabic due to the very diverse ethnicities. The original U.S. target in April 2002 was that of 12,000 men trained by April 2003, but it was quickly realised that this was too ambitious, and the requirement reduced to only 9,000, to be ready by November 2003. The first female Afghan parachutist Khatol Mohammadzai, trained during the 1980s, became the first female general in the Afghan National Army in August 2002. The professional military training begun by establishing of NMAA (National Military Academy of Afghanistan) is chart of NDU(National Defense University) which is based in Qargha Garrison The curriculum of this academy is to complete a four year military and civil training in the aim of preparing the officer for the long-term. At the military academy of Afghanistan they are training four major foreign languages which is vital to developing the relationship between the ANA and foreign armies.
U.S. Army major objectives for ANA reconstruction in October 2002 were:
Ensure activation of Central Corps headquarters and its three Brigades by 1 October 2003
Develop and begin implementation of Afghan MoD/General Staff reform plan
Establish ANA institutional support systems including officer and NCO schools, ANA training and doctrine directorate, and garrison support elements
Design and build OMC-A structure consisting of U.S./Coalition military, contractor, and Afghan civilian and military personnel capable of managing the ANA building program as it increases in scope and complexity
Increase international and Afghan domestic support for and confidence in ANA through the maintenance of quality within the force and the conduct of effective information operations.
The first deployment outside Kabul was made by 3rd Kandak, ANA to Paktika Province, including Orgun, in January 2003. By January 2003 just over 1,700 soldiers in five Kandaks (battalions) had completed the 10-week training course, and by mid-2003 a total of 4,000 troops had been trained. Approximately 1,000 ANA soldiers were deployed in the US-led Operation Warrior Sweep, marking the first major combat operation for Afghan troops. Initial recruiting problems lay in the lack of cooperation from regional warlords and inconsistent international support. The problem of desertion dogged the force in its early days: in the summer of 2003, the desertion rate was estimated to be 10% and in mid-March 2004, an estimate suggested that 3,000 soldiers had deserted. Some recruits were under 18 years of age and many could not read or write. Recruits who only spoke the Pashto language experienced difficulty because instruction was usually given through interpreters who spoke Dari.
The Afghan New Beginnings Programme (ANBP) was launched on 6 April 2003 and begin disarmament of former Army personnel in October 2003.In March 2004, fighting between two local militias took place in the western Afghan city of Herat. It was reported that Mirwais Sadiq (son of warlord Ismail Khan) was assassinated in unclear circumstances. Thereafter a bigger conflict began that resulted in the death of up to 100 people. The battle was between troops of Ismail Khan and Abdul Zahir Nayebzada, a senior local military commander blamed for the death of Sadiq.
Nayebzada commanded the 17th Herat Division of the Afghan Militia Forces’ 4th Corps. In response to the fighting, about 1,500 newly trained ANA soldiers were sent to Herat in order to bring the situation under control.
Beyond the fighting kandaks, establishment of regional structures began when four of the five planned corps commanders and some of their staff were appointed on 1 September 2004. The first regional command was established in Kandahar on September 19; the second at Gardez on September 22, with commands at Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat planned.
The Gardez command, also referred to in the AFPS story as the 203 Corps, was to have an initial force of 200 soldiers. Kandahar’s command was the first activated, followed by Gardez and Mazar-e-Sharif. The Herat command was seemingly activated on 28 September. The next year, the ANA’s numbers grew to around 20,000 soldiers, most of which were trained by forces of the United States. In the meantime, the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) had started building new military bases for the fast-growing ANA.
|Chief of Staff||Gen. Wali Ahmadzai
Lieutenant General Hibatullah Alizai
|Deputy Chief of Staff||Lieutenant General Murad Ali Murad
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has ordered Gen. Hibatullah Alizai to replace Gen. Wali Ahmadzai as the Afghan Army chief of staff, according to local media reports and an Afghan defense official who spoke to The Associated Press. ( August 12, 2021)
A January 2011 NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan information paper described the ANA as being led by the Chief of General Staff, supervising the Vice Chief of the General Staff, the Vice Chief of the Armed Forces (an Air Force officer), the Director of the General Staff, himself supervising the General Staff itself, and seven major commands. The ANA Ground Force Command, under a lieutenant general, directed the five ground forces corps and the 111th Capital Division. The other six commands included the ANA Special Operations Command, Army Support Command, the ANA Recruiting Command (ANAREC), the HSSB, and the Detainee Guard Force.
Amongst support facilities is the Chimtallah National Ammunition Depot, a Central Ammunition Depot.
The basic unit in the Afghan National Army is the kandak (battalion), consisting of 600 troops. Kandaks may be further broken down into four toli (company). Although the vast majority of kandaks are infantry, at least one mechanized and one tank kandak have been formed; more may be planned. Every ANA Corps was assigned commando kandaks.
As of September 2005, 28 of the 31 Afghan National Army kandaks were ready for combat operations and many had already participated in them. At least nine brigades were planned at this time, each consisting of six kandaks. By March 2007, half of the ANA had been achieved with 46 of the planned 76 Afghan kandaks operating in the fore or in concert with NATO forces.
Seven Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) kandaks were created in 2012–13, one kandak for each of the ANA’s corps and divisions. They are being created by converting existing infantry kandaks into QRF kandaks at the NMAA Armour Branch School. The QRF kandaks were trained and fielded in 2012 and 2013. The QRF kandaks were the first major ANA users of armoured vehicles.
A total of 14 regionally oriented brigades were planned for 2008. According to Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A) thirteen of these brigades were to be infantry, one to be mechanized and one was a commando.
Currently the Afghan National Army maintains seven corps; each corps is responsible for one major area of the country. Each corps has three to four subordinate brigades, and each brigade has four infantry kandaks (battalions) as its basic fighting units. Each infantry kandak is assigned a specific area for which it is responsible; the kandak’s mission is to secure its area from internal and external threats. Originally, the four outlying corps were assigned one or two brigades, with the majority of the manpower of the Army based in Kabul’s 201st Corps. This was superseded by a buildup in which each corps added extra brigades. Establishment of the corps started when four regional corps commanders and some of their staff were appointed in September 2004.
Seven serve as regional land commands for the ANA:
201st Corps (Kabul) – 1st Brigade is at the Presidential Palace. 3rd Brigade, at Pol-e-Chakri, is to be a mechanised formation including M-113s and Soviet-built main battle tanks (T-62s). Later information from LongWarJournal.org places most of the 3rd Brigade at Jalalabad, Second Brigade at Pol-e-Charkhi, and only a single kandak of First Brigade at the Presidential Palace. The corps is charged with operation in eastern Afghanistan, including Kabul, Logar, Kapisa, Konar, and Laghman. Its battlespace includes the Afghan capital of Kabul as well as vital routes running north and south, and valleys leading from the Pakistani border into Afghanistan. Currently the Third Brigade of the 201st Corps is the only unit that has control of an area of responsibility in Afghanistan without the aid or assistance of U.S. or coalition forces for its command system.
203rd Corps (Gardez) The original Gardez Regional Command was established on 23 September 2004. As of 2009, First Brigade, Khost, Second Brigade, Forward Operating Base Rushmore, Sharana, Paktika Province, Third Brigade, Ghazni. On 19 Oct 2006, as part of Operation Mountain Fury, two ETTs (Embedded Training Teams) mentored and advised a D30 artillery section from Fourth Kandak, Second Brigade, 203rd Corps, to conduct the first artillery missions during combat operations with harassment and indirect fires. Three days later, they successfully conducted counterfire (with assistance from a US Q-36 radar) that resulted in ten enemy casualties, the highest casualties inflicted from artillery fire in ANA history. The corps is supported by the Gardez Regional Support Squadron of the AAF, equipped with 8 helicopters: 4 transport to support the corps’ commando kandak, two attack, and two medical transport.
205th Corps (Kandahar) – has the responsibility for the provinces of Kandahar, Zabul, and 4th Brigade Urozgan under Brigadier General Zafar Khan’s control. It consists of four brigades, a commando kandak and three garrisons. The corps has integrated artillery and airlift capacity, supplied by a growing Kandahar Wing of the Afghan Air Force.
207th Corps (Herat) – 1st Brigade at Herat, 2nd Brigade at Farah, and elements at Shindand (including commandos). The corps is supported by the Herat Regional Support Squadron of the AAF, equipped with eight helicopters: four transport to support the corps’ commando kandak, two attack, and two medical transport aircraft.
209th Corps (Mazar-i-Sharif) – Works closely with the German-led Regional Command North, and has 1st Brigade at Mazar-i-Sharif and, it appears, a Second Brigade forming at Kunduz. An Army Corps of Engineers solicitation for Kunduz headquarters facilities for the Second Brigade was issued in March 2008. The corps is supported by the Mazar-i-Sharif Regional Support Squadron of the AAF, equipped with eight helicopters: four transport to support the Corps’ commando kandak, two attack, and two medical transport helicopters. In October 2015, as a response to the fall of Kunduz, reports came that a new division would be formed in the area.
215th Corps (Lashkar Gah) – In 2010, the Afghan government approved a sixth corps of the Afghan National Army – Corps 215 Maiwand – to be based in the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah. The 215th was developed specifically to partner with the Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Helmand. On 28 January 2010, Xinhua reported that General Sayed Mallok would command the new corps.
The corps will cover all parts of Helmand, half of Farah and most parts of southwestern Nimroz province. The corps was formally established on 1 April 2010. 1st Bde, 215th Corps, is at Garmsir, partnered with a USMC Regimental Combat Team.
Elements of 2nd Brigade, 215th Corps, have been reported at Forward Operating Base Delaram, Farah Province. 3rd Bde, 215th Corps, partnered with the UK Task Force Helmand is at Camp Shorabak.
217th Corps (Headquarters Kunduz) – The Afghan army established a new corps in 2019. The 20th Division, which was formerly part of the 209th Corps, became the 217th Corps. The corps was given responsibility for Kunduz Province, Takhar, Baghlan, and Badakhshan provinces.
In August 2021, the Taliban seized control of the corps headquarters and Kunduz as part of the 2021 Taliban offensive.
In late 2008 it was announced that the 201st Corps’ former area of responsibility would be divided, with a Capital Division being formed in Kabul and the corps concentrating its effort further forward along the border. The new division, designated the 111th Capital Division, became operational in April 2009.
It has a First Brigade and Second Brigade (both forming) as well as a Headquarters Special Security Brigade.
ANA Special Operations Command
From mid-2011, the ANA began establishing an ANA Special Operations Command (ANASOC) to control the ANA Commando Brigade and the ANA Special Forces. It is headquartered at Camp Moorehead in Wardak Province, located six miles south of Kabul.
In 2011, ANASOC consisted of 7,809 commandos and 646 special forces personnel.
In July 2012, the Special Operations Command was officially established as a division-sized special operations force formation, including a command and staff. The command, with the status of a division, now boasts between 10,000 and 11,000 special operations soldiers.Previously this was organised as one brigade with 8 kandaks, all with a minimum of 6 companies. Due to the standard size of a brigade in the ANA, the ANASOC is likely to be split into 3 – 4 brigades, one of which will be a Special Forces Brigade.
ANASOC now has an attached Air Force Special Mission Wing which was inaugurated in July 2012. With the December 2017 approval of the FY 2018 tashkil, ANASOC is authorized 16,040 personnel, organized into four Special Operations Brigades (SOB) and a National Mission Brigade (NMB).
ANA Commando Corps
In July 2007 the ANA graduated its first commandos. The commandos underwent a grueling three-month course being trained by American Special Operations Forces. They are fully equipped with U.S. equipment and have received specialized light infantry training with the capability to conduct raids, direct action, and reconnaissance in support of counterinsurgency operations; and they provide a strategic response capability for the Afghan government.
By the end of 2008, the six ANA commando battalions were to be stationed in the southern region of Afghanistan assisting the Canadian forces. As of 2017, the commando brigade grew into corps size with 21,000 commandos, with their number eventually reaching 30,000 commandos. ANA commando force comprises only seven percent of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, but they do 70 percent to 80 percent of the fighting.
Special Security Forces
A special operations unit was first conceptualized in 2009 and established in 2010.
Currently, there are at least two special operations brigades (1st, 2nd) and a National Mission Brigade, which includes the 6th Special Operations Kandak (SOK), Ktah Khas (KKA), and two Special Forces Kandaks.
The first Special Forces team, whose soldiers were selected from the ANA Commandos (this practice was discontinued later to preserve commando capability), finished training in May 2010. The organization is based on U.S. Army Special Forces.
Initially all the Special Forces candidates were planned to come from the Commando Kandak (Commando Battalion), only requiring 10 weeks of training. However, after the initial period it was planned that Special Forces recruiting was to be conducted throughout the Army, and initial Special Forces training was to be 15 weeks. Commando graduates of the special forces course will retain their ‘commando’ tab and will also have a ‘special forces’ tab on top of the commando tab and they also receive a tan beret. These candidates are normally selected after serving four years as a Commando.
They were attached to teams of U.S. Special Forces operating in Kandahar province in the 2010 operation.
In May 2010 the first class of the ANA Special Forces graduated from their 10-week qualification course and moved on to the operational portion of their training. In November 2010, the ANA Special Forces Class 1 received their tan berets in a ceremony at Camp Morehead, Kabul Province, after completing 26 weeks of on-the-job training partnered with U.S. Special Forces. The initial selection involved taking the 145 commandos who volunteered, putting them through a one-week qualification process (similar to the one used in the United States), and finding, as in the U.S., that only about half (69) passed. These Special Forces operators formed the first four A-Teams (of 15 men each). Some of them who passed the 1st are being used to help U.S. Special Operations Forces train the 2nd class of candidates. Special Forces soldiers are trained to focus on interaction with the population through jirgas with village elders, but capable of unilateral operations. A second ANA Special Forces class completed training in December 2010.
The force numbered 646 Special Forces operators in December 2011. This unit also has female Special Forces operators to interact with female civilians, such as searches, interviews or medical examinations. There are plans to create one Special Forces platoon of just female operators so they can talk to families (women and children).
Combat Support Organizations
As the ANA has grown to almost its full size the focus has now changed to further development of the force so that it becomes self sustainable. Development of the ANA Combat Support Organizations, the Corps Logistics Kandaks, or Combat Logistics Battalions, (CLK) and the Combat Support Kandaks, or Combat Support Battalions, (CSK) is vital to self-sustainability.
Combat Support Kandaks (CSK) provide specialized services for infantry kandaks. While most ANA kandaks have a CSK they are underdeveloped and do not fit the requirements of a growing army. The CSK role includes motor fleet maintenance, specialized communications, scouting, engineering, and long range artillery units. Eventually one fully developed CSK will be assigned to each of the 24 ANA Combat Brigades.
Each CSK includes an Intelligence toli (company) called a Cashf Tolai. Each Intelligence toli is responsible for collecting information about the surrounding area and Taliban activities. The members of the unit interact closely with the local residents in an effort to deny the enemy control over the surrounding area.
In order to enable the ANA to be self-sufficient, brigades will form a Corps Logistics Kandaks (CLK) which will be responsible to providing equipment to the 90 infantry kandaks. The CSK will be responsible for the maintenance of the new heavier equipment including APCs. In the 215th Corps area, the U.S. Marine Combat Logistics Battalion 1 announced in January 2010 that the training of the ANA 5th Kandak, 1st Brigade, 215th ANA Corps Logistics Kandak has gone very well and that the unit was capable of undertaking the majority of day-to-day activities on their own.
This is a list of Afghan Armed Forces
This is a list of Afghan Armed Forces bases and installations used by the Afghan Air Force (AAF) and the Afghan National Army (ANA).
The main units of the ANA are Corps size and are as follows:
201st ‘Selab’ (Flood) in Laghman Province
203rd ‘Tandar’ (Thunder) in Paktia Province
205th ‘Atul’ (Hero) in Kandahar Province
207th ‘Safar’ (Victory) in Herat Province
209th ‘Shaheen’ (Falcon) in Balkh Province
215th ‘Maiwand’ in Helmand Province
217th ‘Pamir’ in Kunduz Province
Commando in Kabul Province
|Ahmad Shah Baba International Airport||Kandahar, Kandahar Province||Locaked in Built by engineers from the United States around 1960 and recently expanded, it is also a dual-use airport serving civilian traffic to Kandahar and military support for the southern and central portions of the country. It is the home of AAF 2nd Wing. Kandahar has been a major center for American and Canadian forces and in mid-2009 underwent a major build-up of US/Coalition forces.|
|Bagram Air Base||Charikar, Parwan Province||Established in the 1950s, Bagram is the largest military air base in Afghanistan. It was a primary center for U.S. and allied forces for cargo, helicopter, and support flights. It has a 3,000-meter runway capable of handling heavy bomber and cargo aircraft.|
|Bost Airport||Lashkar Gah, Helmand Province|
|Hamid Karzai International Airport||Kabul, Kabul Province||Built by engineers from the Soviet Union in 1960 and recently expanded by members of NATO countries and Japan. It is a dual-use airport, civilian and military, the primary hub for international civilian flights. It serves as the home of the AAF 1st Wing and includes state-of-the-art hangar facilities, as well as operations, logistics, billeting, dining, and recreational facilities. It is also used by the USAF.|
|Khwaja Abdullah Ansari International Airport||Herat, Herat Province||Built by engineers from the United States in the 1960s. It is the primary civil airport for the western portion of the country, but also houses military aircraft.|
|Jalalabad Airport||Jalalabad, Nangarhar Province|
|Kunduz Airport||Kunduz, Kunduz Province|
|Maulana Jalaluddin Balkhi International Airport||Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh Province||Expanded recently by Bundeswehr and Turkey, it is a dual-use airport serving the northern and central portions of the country.|
|Shindand Air Base||Shindand District, Herat Province||Built by the Soviets in 1961. Home to the AAF 3rd Wing, it is the second largest military air base in the country, located just south of Herat with significant military aircraft shelters and facilities. Its location made it a prime candidate as a training base for the AAF.|