Along with other sectors, Afghanistan’s military sector saw changes following the fall of the previous administration and the establishment of the Islamic Emirate.
Among the significant changes in the military sector over the last year were the collapse of the 350,000 army of the past regime, the Islamic Emirate's creation of a new army, and an uncertain fate of former troops.
"The republican administration's military forces, notably the national army, had extremely powerful and numerous excellent qualities in spite of their weaknesses," said Assadullah Nadim, a military expert.
Although the previous administration had already fallen, more than 6,000 American troops were stationed at the airport in Kabul to evacuate their allies and those who had worked with them during the past 20 years.
On August 30, 2021, at midnight, Chris Donahue, the last American soldier departed Afghanistan, bringing an end to the country's 20-year war.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, meanwhile, said that the US's diplomatic presence had transferred from Kabul to Doha:
“As of today, we have suspended our diplomatic presence in Kabul and transferred our operations to Doha, Qatar. For the time being, we will use this post in Doha to manage our diplomacy with Afghanistan,” he tweeted.
Blinken, however, said that the United States’ work in Afghanistan will continue and that a new chapter has begun in US engagement with Afghanistan.
“I want to drive home today that America’s work in Afghanistan continues. We have a plan for what’s next, and we’re putting it into action. US military flights have ended and our troops have departed Afghanistan. A new chapter of America’s engagement with Afghanistan has begun. It’s one in which we will lead with our diplomacy,” he said in threaded tweets.
Following the departure of American forces from Afghanistan, the US announced that $7 billion worth of military equipment supplied to the previous administration remained there.
These military facilities included 78 aircraft, 40,000 military vehicles, including 12,000 Humvees, more than 300,000 weapons, specialized ammunition valued at 48 million dollars, night vision cameras, biometric systems, and minesweepers.
However, according to the Pentagon, all of the remaining military equipment had been destroyed and was useless.
"The equipment that was brought here to kill Afghan people is now Afghan citizens' property. From now on, this equipment and these weapons will be used for the defense of Afghanistan, all of them have been preserved,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman of the Islamic Emirate.
The country's air sector ceased operations after the previous government was overthrown. Figures show that the security forces of the previous administration moved more than 50 Afghan helicopters to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Later, Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid, the acting military minister, warned Tajikistan and Uzbekistan that if they do not hand over these helicopters to the Islamic Emirate, they would face consequences.
Acting Defense Minister Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid at a ceremony in Kabul, during which the air force held an exercise, said military aircraft taken abroad should be returned.
He warned that if the countries where the military aircraft were taken do not return them, they will face consequences. “Our aircraft that are in Tajikistan or Uzbekistan should be returned. We will not allow these aircraft to remain abroad or to be used by those countries,” he said.
The Ministry of Defense of the Islamic Emirate declared the formation of a new army following the collapse of the former army. It said it wants to build an army of 150,000 soldiers.
"The leadership of the Ministry of Defense has considered recruiting 100,000 to 150,000 forces ... and the remaining process is still to continue,” said Enayatullah Khwarazmi, a spokesman of the Defense Ministry.
Although it was expected that former government troops would be employed in the new army, it is still unknown how many former government soldiers have been officially recruited into the new army.
“Only those former government forces are unemployed who were fighting against Mujahideen,” said Enayatullah Khwarazmi, a spokesman of the Defense Ministry.
One of the military events marking the first anniversary of the Islamic Emirate was Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob Mujahid's meeting with Qatari military authorities in Doha. Mujahid asked Qatari officials to assist the Islamic Emirate's army with uniforms and salaries during his visit to Qatar.
"We requested they cooperate in the area of paying the army's salaries since it is an Islamic nation and has been collaborating with us since the past up until today. We also asked them to cooperate with us in the creation of uniforms,” said the acting Minister of Defense.
However, Afghanistan has had repeated military collapses and the loss of military equipment in past years.