Some lawmakers from the defense committees of the two houses of the parliament on Friday said they the poor management in the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in the span of one year under its former leadership is behind the deteriorating security situation in the country during which over 200 districts have fallen to the Taliban.
The absence of the former defense minister Asadullah Khalid for seven months last year was one of the major issues that led to challenges in the Ministry of Defense and affected battlefields, said Hashem Alokozay, the head of the Senate’s Defense Committee.
“The entire challenges emancipated from the seven months’ absence of (former) minister of defense during a difficult time. We saw that many districts fell to the Taliban without resistance,” Alokozay said.
Ali Akbar Jamshidi, member of the Afghan Parliament’s Defense Committee, said that former US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller often opposed the dismissal of Assadullah Khalid as the defense minister. This led to challenges in the Ministry of Defense, he said.
In Khalid’s absence, Gen. Yasin Zia was appointed as acting minister of defense while he was also the chief of army staff.
“Interference by them (Americans) in the dismissals and appointments in the army corps including the leadership of the Ministry of Defense was so serious,” Jamshidi said.
But a spokesman of the Ministry of Defense defended the activities of the security agency, especially when it comes to the management of the war.
“The army is prepared to defend the country at any front. The progress we see on the battlefields is all because of the efforts made by the security and defense forces, particularly the army,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, spokesman for Ministry of Defense.
This comes as Gen. Bismillah Mohammadi was appointed as the acting minister of defense and Gen. Wali Mohammad Ahmadzai as the Afghan army’s chief of staff two months ago.