As territory in some provinces continues to fall to the Taliban, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh said on Monday that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces’ respect among the people has not dwindled despite the evidence of some gaps in recent weeks.
Saleh said in a Facebook post that Afghans should be proud of the security forces, saying “their sacrifice is our dignity.”
Saleh said the Taliban are fighting for mixed interests and that the rule of the group in Afghanistan is not possible, even if they gain more territory.
He went on to explain the reasons behind what he called recent gaps in the security forces by saying that there are many factors and a main issue is that the assessment of deployed forces is lacking, and there was a weak presence in hundreds of areas instead of a strong presence in few places.
Saleh asks everyone not to be influenced by propaganda, saying “the enemy’s forces are divided into three parts: those directly trained by Pakistani military and directed from Peshawar, Quetta and other areas; those who are local forces and are commanded by a military commission; and those who have been recently recruited and have no morale.”
Moreover, he said the Afghan forces have more sniper rifles than the Taliban. “What we have in excess are better and more modern than those handed over to the Taliban by the Pakistani army,” he said.
Saleh mentioned that the withdrawal of foreign forces created a sudden gap and that some of the changes were expected. “Our main focus is on maintenance so that later we can take the next steps for removing the enemy,” he added.
He reiterated that Afghanistan needs agile forces instead of a large number of forces and “we are moving forward towards this goal speedily.”
He also mentioned that his assessments are underway on reasons for the fall of areas and about those who had a role in it. He said those who left their bases cannot forge their identities.
Saleh also vowed full support to those forces and civilian workers who show “bravery” and that their improvement will never be impeded by bureaucracy.
“The Afghan military forces are really national. Visit bases, and hospitals. We should be proud of these forces. Their sacrifice and bravery are our honor,” Saleh said. “We should not spare any effort in the elimination of the enemy.”