Gen. Sami Sadat, a commander in the Afghan National Army, said his forces were “betrayed by politics and presidents” during his fight to keep the Taliban at bay.

Sadat was involved in fighting against the Islamist militant group in southern Afghanistan for the past three months. He was in Kabul as of Aug. 15, but his current whereabouts are unclear.

“I fought day and night, nonstop, in southern Afghanistan’s Helmand Province against an escalating and bloody Taliban offensive,” he wrote Wednesday. “Coming under frequent attack, we held the Taliban back and inflicted heavy casualties.”

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“I am exhausted. I am frustrated. And I am angry,” he continued in a New York Times opinion article, noting President Joe Biden’s remark that Afghan allies lost the will to fight the Taliban.

“It’s true that the Afghan Army lost its will to fight. But that’s because of the growing sense of abandonment by our American partners and the disrespect and disloyalty reflected in Mr. Biden’s tone and words over the past few months,” Sadat said.

He said Western factions are misplacing blame on Afghan military personnel, arguing they were left in the lurch when holding off the Taliban.

“The Afghan Army is not without blame,” he said. “It had its problems — cronyism, bureaucracy — but we ultimately stopped fighting because our partners already had.”

Additionally, he said former President Donald Trump’s February 2020 peace deal “doomed us” by putting an “expiration date on American interests” in the region.

“Contractor logistics and maintenance support” were “critical to our combat operations” in the country, he added.

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The “corruption endemic” in Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani’s government stifled military efficacy, he said.

“We were betrayed by politics and presidents,” Sadat said. “This was not an Afghan war only; it was an international war, with many militaries involved. It would have been impossible for one army alone, ours, to take up the job and fight.”

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Tags: News, Afghanistan, Taliban, Army

Original Author: Matthew Miller

Original Location: Commander of Afghan forces says they were ‘betrayed by politics and presidents’

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