The Afghan army has made “huge progress” and is now “capable of leading missions against the Taliban”, Canada’s new chief of defense staff, General Walt Natynczyk said yesterday.
Here’s what’s wrong with this picture:
After decades of anarchy and warlord rule, an Afghan ‘national army’ is a contradiction in terms. You need a nation to have something national, and despite NATO’s wishful thinking such a thing doesn’t exist in Afghanistan, and maybe never will. So, sorry but no — the general’s words don’t ring true. Remove NATO from the equation, and ANA will crumble.
Narratives like this — “they’ll soon stand up so we can stand down” — only make a miserable situation worse. All they do is betray an appalling disregard for the realities of an ethnically diverse country like Afghanistan, where Western models of nation-state democracy and linear development don’t work and shouldn’t be applied.