Many of former Afghan forces, abandoned by US, joining Daesh: WSJ

Many of Afghanistan’s US-trained spies and military personnel have joined the Daesh terrorist group after being abandoned by the United States, a new report has revealed.

Citing Taliban leaders and former Afghan security officials, The Wall Street Journal reported that several members of the former Afghan government’s intelligence and military apparatus joined Daesh, following the hasty withdrawal of the US-led coalition troops from the country in August.

This “relatively small, but growing” number of recruits, according to the report, provides the Takfiri terrorist group with “critical expertise in intelligence-gathering and warfare techniques, potentially strengthening the extremist organization’s ability to contest Taliban supremacy.”

Some of them, however, have already been killed in violent clashes with Taliban’s forces in different parts of the war-ravaged country.

An Afghan security officer who previously commanded the military’s weapons and ammunition depot in Gardez, the capital of southeastern Paktia province, was killed a week ago in a clash with Taliban fighters, a former Afghan official is quoted as saying in the report.

Rahmatullah Nabil, former chief of Afghanistan’s erstwhile spy agency National Directorate of Security (NDS), who left the country shortly before the Taliban takeover in August, told the journal that Daesh had “become very attractive” to former members of Afghan security and defense forces “who have been left behind” by the United States.

“If there were a resistance, they would have joined it,” Rahmatullah Nabil is quoted as saying, arguing that “for the time being” Daesh is the only armed group in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan has been rocked by a series of terrorist attacks since August, claimed by the Daesh terrorist group in its new, more dangerous incarnation.

The resurgence of the terrorist group coincided with the disastrous end of the US military occupation of Afghanistan. The narrative that the US military-industrial complex paved the way for its resurgence has been gaining ground for quite some time now.

The Taliban officials have unequivocally blamed the US for the group’s return in Afghanistan.

Notably, the top American military commander Mark Milley sounded alarm bells recently, saying there was probability of a broader civil war, reconstitution of Al-Qaeda and growth of Daesh in the country.

US undersecretary of defense Colin Kahl told the US Senate last week that the group could be in a position to attack the West from Afghanistan within six months.

The US completed the chaotic withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan by the end of August, in what observers saw as a botched exit after a futile military adventure lasting 20 years.

The US-led NATO alliance invaded the South Asian country in 2001 under the pretext of ‘war on terror’, to decimate the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. None of the goals were achieved despite massive investment.

A senior Taliban commander Mawlawi Zubair recently turned down the US proposal to jointly fight the Daesh, saying “there is no need, not even a tiny need, for us to seek assistance from anyone”.

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