The alarming rate of ANDSF casualties

Sunday, 16 October 2016 03:54 Written by  Heart of asia Read 213 times

The complete transition of combat role to Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), and the intensification of Taliban violence have pushed the ANDSF casualties to record high. According to officials, about 4,500 members of Afghan forces have been killed and 8,000 others wounded over the past six months, double the number of fatalities suffered by US troops in 15 years in Afghanistan. Western media has reported the high death toll has dropped recruitment rate among Afghan forces, worrying Afghan officials besides their western allies.


When the US decided to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, and demanded to establish military bases here, some Afghans were concerned that the war would then become one between Afghans whose all victims would also be Afghan people. As estimated, the concerns came true and foreign casualties dropped to zero, while the number of fatalities among Afghans is on an upward trajectory. Only Afghans lose their lives on both sides of the ongoing conflict imposed on Afghanistan. The more the war intensifies, the higher the casualties are among Afghans.
In addition to other implications, the continuity of war boosts the fear of bringing about the downfall of ANDSF. If we even turn a blind eye to the existence of ghost soldiers, the current disquieting casualty figures among Afghan forces is a serious threat to the sustainability of ANDSF. The rising death toll among Afghan forces on the one hand, and the confidence in the government being at the rock bottom on the other hand have led to a sharp decline in the recruitment of Afghan forces. The low re-enlistment rate in Afghan forces already plagued by poor leadership over and above various other issues may lead to the depletion and even the collapse of ANDSF.
The National Unity Government (NUG), and Afghan politicians in general must take this threat seriously, and focus their efforts on restoring peace other than allowing the war to sustain.
If parties to the Afghan conflict continue to place emphasis on war, Afghanistan will once again witness the fall of its military force built by billions of foreign aid, which will be difficult for the war-stricken nation to make up for its catastrophic consequences.