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Editorial: US inspector

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The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), John Sopko, had presented a very bleak picture of Afghan security forces on Wednesday in Washington. Sopko said that corruption was rampant in the Afghan security forces. According to the US inspector, the security forces have suffered heavy casualties and barely hold the insurgents at bay since the US-led coalition forces ended combat mission in Afghanistan in December 2014. At the same time he tells that the Afghan insurgents are well-funded and well-armed. Who funded the Taliban is a question yet to be answered by the American. Sopko said that number of armed opponents in the war-hit country is also growing, making it a serious challenge for the Afghan government. The US inspector said that insurgents have gained more territory last year because Afghan security forces are playing defense rather than “taking the fight to the Taliban.”

As a matter of fact SIGAR has never projected a good picture of Afghanistan in its reports. These reports have highlighted key problems faced by the government and people of Afghanistan. But on the other hand these reports do not address the root cause of the problem. Moreover, in most cases solutions are missing. Therefore, the reports are supposed to be just unhealthy criticism and a tug-of-war between the Pentagon and SIGAR while making Afghans a scapegoat.

Sopko speaks about well-funded and well-armed Taliban but at the same time presents a negative and dark picture to people. The most important point that he missed is the entry of major regional countries in the new strategic game as ally of the Taliban. The insurgent group is becoming a force of mercenaries for some countries. These regional actors want to use the militant group against Daesh, also known as the Islamic State in the global north. That’s why Russia and China engaged the Taliban to have edge over the US in Central Asia. Most likely, it is a tit-for-tat response to the US policies in the Middle East. In other words, Afghans are paying the price for the US policies. The US inspector would never talk about it or the policies of his country which had brought many countries on brink of civil war such as Syria and Iraq.

Second, the US acknowledges that Pakistan is supporting Afghan insurgents but Washington did nothing to prevent Islamabad from creating challenges for Kabul. American policymakers knew the results of their actions but they never changed the course. Now the Americans blame Afghans to tell the world that they were doing best but it was Afghan government and security forces which failed. This is what the wise and civilized people call hypocrisy.