Afghanistan will probably be unable to keep running the military bases its international backers have spent billions building after Nato troops leave, a US Congressional report has said.
According to the report Kabul’s military has neither the staff, nor the expertise, to maintain or operate hundreds of bases it will inherit from the coalition troops as they prepare to withdraw combat forces by the end of 2014.
A spokesman for the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said despite spending $800 million in NATO funding, the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) likely will not be able to keep up its facilities after 2014 due to inadequate troop levels and quality (literacy), and not-ready-for-primetime “budgeting, procurement and logistics systems.”
The report comes just weeks after a group of visiting Afghan generals in the Pentagon said they feared when the international community pulled out, in 2014, it would leave Afghanistan short of logistical capabilities, as well as basic equipment and intelligence assets.
The report was less about wrongdoing than about the need find ways to take the training wheels off quicker. And if professionals talk logistics, as we always hear, then SIGAR is on to something, holding the ISAF training mission’s feet to the fire to make sure it stays focused on building all aspects of the security forces’ required capabilities.
SIGAR also announced on Thursday that it would launch an investigation into $230 million (£143 million) worth of missing spare parts ordered for the Afghan army.
Afghan defense officials denied the report however the officials did not disclose further information in this regard.