At last, the government sources confirmed that the cooperation at different levels of forces has deteriorated, giving rise to the lackluster performance of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) against Taliban and terrorist groups in different parts of the country. Both ministries of Interior and Defense acknowledged on Sunday November 15, 2015 that the cooperation between forces is problematic at some levels and this is creating problem for the overall performance of our forces.
According to the Interior Ministry, the problem exists in the lower ranks where officials are not much cooperating. While Ministry of Defense issued the statement confirming report from Interior Ministry regarding the lack of cooperation in the security forces.
The Deputy Interior Ministry spokesperson, Najib Danish admitted that there is lack of cooperation in the lower-ranking officials of security forces while there is no such problem in higher-ranking officers. He added that they are making efforts to increase cooperation among the lower ranking officials of security forces.
Although the government ministries have admitted but such rumors were in air for more than a year. The dubious factors responsible for the fall of Kunduz to Taliban, the continuous re-emergence of Taliban in a number of districts in Helmand province, the increased activities of Taliban in Badakhshan and repeated kidnapping and killing of innocent travelers on Kandahar-Kabul highway has been a matter of great concern for all the citizens.
The statements given by Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) about the actual security situation in Afghanistan has also been doubtful and contradicting the statements of each other. In the on-going military operation in Helmand, the provincial governor talks of the surrender of 65 security members to Taliban while the ministry of defense rejects it. In the same way, our forces cleaned a number of districts in Badakhshan of Taliban and ISIS militants but the same areas fell again into the hands of militants and our forces had to carry out military operations for a number of times.
In the case of Kunduz, the city captured by Taliban given that thousands of members of ANSF guarded the city. It is said that, the security forces retreated without showing any resistance against Taliban and Taliban were able to control the city without any bloodshed and loss. In the same way, our forces left behind dozens of armored vehicles and more than hundred pickups that were later on taken away by Taliban when they were forced to leave the city.
Similarly, the lack of communication regarding intelligence is another problem. In the case of Kunduz, Helmand and numerous other incidents, the intelligence service was not able to detect the large-scale movement of militants in the area and it remained a secret until an area fell into the hands of anti-state forces.
According to the spokesperson of Ministry of Defense, retreat is a tactical plan of war in the country and it is all done under inevitable circumstances but realities on ground are much different from this.
A number of media outlets also reported of the lack of motivation and disappointment of low-ranking officials or soldiers. According to them, they are not given permission by their high-ups to retaliate or attack on Taliban until it gets too late and then they find themselves seized by Taliban militants. There are also reports that at many occasions, the security forces were not provided with backup support by headquarters after many hours. In some instances, a few soldiers kept fighting with Taliban for almost 48 hours requesting for backup support but they were not given any support. They ended with no ammunition or supplies and had to surrender to Taliban or were captured and killed by Taliban.
According to local people, Taliban are much afraid of helicopters and they can hardly resist it but in many cases, the helicopters were kept idle and not used against them and our ground forces struggled to stop the attacks of Taliban. In the case of Kunduz, when our forces were desperately waiting for the aerial support and helicopters, dozens of helicopters were standing idle in Kabul. In the same way, when the helicopters are badly needed to push back Taliban in Helmand, large numbers of helicopters are standing idle at the Kandahar airport.
Similarly, the passengers on Kabul-Kandahar highway were attacked by Taliban when a police or national army check post was less than a kilometer away. In all these circumstances, the passengers were left on the mercy of Taliban and no action was taken against them. The soldiers state that they kept waiting for the orders from their superiors either to interfere or not. In the same way, the sad incident in Zabul also gave rise to many questions regarding the role of security forces on this highway. Zabul is one of the most restive parts of the country and at the place where the seven passengers were abducted is one of the heavily guarded areas.
There have been numerous incidents on this highway but there has never been any serious investigation or follow-up of these incidents. The abduction of 31 Hazara passengers last year and many others remain a question mark on the performance of government and security forces.
According to analysts, until the problem of lack of cooperation in security forces is not solved, the security conditions in the country will get worse and add to the misery of public.