Why the Afghan Security Forces Collapsed

In response to directives by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and the House Armed Services Committee, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) published “Why the Afghan Security Forces Collapsed.” In the report, SIGAR acknowledges the almost $90 billion assistance given to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) in 2002 for security sector assistance, and assesses the collapse of ANDSF in 2021. According to the report, this collapse resulted in the reestablishment of Taliban control in Afghanistan. SIGAR states that their evaluation of the damage accrued in the wake of the ANDSF collapse is limited, due to the lack of communication from DOD and the Department of State during the issuing of the interim version of the report in 2022.

However, U.S. officials and former Afghan officials cooperated with SIGAR over the course of the eight months leading up to this final report, giving insight into ANDSF’s collapse. SIGAR reviewed 20 years’ worth of factors that lead to the underdevelopment of ANDSF military readiness, such as ANDSF’s reliance on U.S. military forces. According to the report, ANDSF would not have been self-sufficient until at least 2030.

SIGAR offered DOD, the Department of State, and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) opportunities to comment on this final report. DOD alone responded to this opportunity, noting that the report has “important insights” but disputed certain conclusions.

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