Pentagon leaders repeatedly praised Afghan army that collapsed in days

Rusty Snippets

Mr Conservative
Staff member
May 17, 2020
The Afghan military caved to Taliban pressure, losing control of the country in a swift and devastating fashion that undermined the praise American military leaders have heaped on them over the years.

For years, American generals have claimed that Afghan forces were improving and developing their ability to handle themselves against the Taliban.

"The Afghan army is increasingly effective," Gen. James Mattis told Congress in July 2010 at his confirmation hearing when he was nominated for commander of U.S. Central Command. He added that the Afghan military – alongside U.S. forces – were "the worst nightmare for the Taliban."

In December of that year, then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates told reporters that Afghan troops were "responsible for security in Kabul," "performing well" and would "continue to improve."

Cut to 2012, and Gen. John Allen, then the Commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, told the House Armed Services Committee, "We remain on track to ensure that Afghanistan will no longer be a safe haven for Al Qaida and will no longer be terrorized by the Taliban."

Allen went on to say that "as the potential unifying influence in Afghanistan, the Afghan forces are better than we thought they were, and they're better than they thought they were when tried in combat....."