Afghan National Defense and Security Force (ANDSF) is the only hope of Afghan people for future. It is the force that will ensure rule of law and put an end to the rule of strongmen. The survival of the government and the state is also dependent on the force.
The casualties of Afghan forces have increased to an alarming level. There are daily reports of tens of Afghan forces killed or wounded across the country. More than three dozens of security forces were killed in 24 hours only in western Farah province. While the government is trying to undercount the number of casualties of Afghan forces in a bid to keep their morale high, the fact is that the casualty level has reached unprecedented high. There are other important steps that should be taken to keep the morale of Afghan forces high, one of which is to purge ANDSF leadership of corrupt and incompetent individuals. The leadership problem and negligence remain to be a major factor for high casualties among Afghan forces. Afghan forces have problems in terms of resources, yet if their existing resources are utilized properly, and effective mechanism created, the casualty level can decline.
Afghan forces, who are fighting for the territorial integrity of the country and survival of the regime, are themselves struggling for survival. On the one hand, their casualties are high, but on the other hand the reenlistment rate is shrinking day by day due to intensity of war. Moreover, the concerns about the embezzlement of the privileges of Afghan forces by their leaders also dissuade the youth from joining their ranks in the face of the constraints they are faced with. The chance of ANDSF survival is low if the casualty rate continues unabated. If government leaders, and the country’s politicians in general, continue to remain indifferent towards the issue, Afghan people will once again witness the bitter experience of the fall of their government.
Afghanistan cannot bear the disintegration of its armed forces for second time in less than half of a century. The dissolution of Afghan armed forces following the collapse of the Soviet was a very huge mistake of the Mujahedeen government that billions of dollars in aid to Afghanistan from the international community could not compensate. By learning a lesson from that mistake, the government should pay undivided attention and take concrete steps to decrease the ANDSF casualties.