Though previous claims of “progress” have been found to be completely invented, NATO isn’t giving up on trying to sell the public on the idea of progress, now claiming “5 of 26” brigades are more or less independent.
The claim, pushed by second-in-command Lt. Gen. Nick Carter, came with a caveat that he believes the units rely virtually entirely on NATO for intelligence, logistics and air support, and that they can’t really operate without continuing the occupation.
Of course 5 of 26 is far from NATO’s goal, and the reality is that with huge attrition in the Afghan military they are constantly dealing with massive numbers of new recruits. With this unchanged, units seem likely to become less operationally-ready as time goes on.
Russia is fretting this long-term unreadiness of the Afghan military, and is looking to commit to aid for the Karzai government, in some unspecified form. Russia has been reluctant to get sucked into NATO’s occupation after their own ended so poorly, and is unlikely to commit ground troops, but is talking up some sort of role post-NATO.
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