Afghanistan army collapse was quick, says US general

In an apparent admission of messy exit from Afghanistan, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the “collapse” of the Afghan army, in the face of Taliban offensive, happened at a much faster rate.

The United States’ role in Afghanistan has come under scanner after the Taliban’s swift takeover of Kabul, following an offensive that saw the quick fall of the US-trained Afghan army.

“The collapse of the Afghan army happened at a much faster rate and [was] very unexpected by pretty much everybody,” General Mark Milley told Fox in an interview. “And then with that is the collapse of the Afghan government.”

As the US completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, General Milley earlier had said that he has “pain and anger” seeing what has happened in the war-torn country over the last 20 years.

He told Fox News that one of the “lessons learned” from the US withdrawal from the war-ravaged country was the pitfalls realised in the Afghan security forces.

“The Army itself – the army and the police forces were a mirror image in many ways – and we created and developed forces that looked like Western forces,” Milley said. “I think one of the big lessons learned here is maybe those forces were not designed appropriately for the type of mission.”

More than 25,000 Afghan refugees evacuated from Afghanistan are being housed in US military bases around the world. Milley informed that the Ramstein base in Germany has already processed about 30,000 individuals.

About 200 of the 30,000 Afghan refugees processed at the Ramstein base are now under further background checks, Gen Milley said. “I think they’ve had a couple of hundred … who popped ‘red’,” Milley said.

During his interview with Fox News, Milley also recognised the 13 US service members who were killed during a suicide bombing in Kabul. Besides this, the top US general also predicted a civil war in Afghanistan in the near future. “My military estimate is…that the conditions are likely to develop of a civil war.”

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