Report: Afghan Can’t Maintain US-Built Facilities After Pullout

Illiterate Recruits and Vanishing Parts Not a Recipe for Success

A new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has yet more bad news for the prospects of the 11+ year war’s success, cautioning that the Afghan government is completely unprepared to even maintain the buildings built for it or feed its own troops.

This isn’t just about the enormous Afghan military being way bigger than the Afghan economy could ever support, that has already been “settled” with the assumption NATO is just going to send massive amounts of cash to Afghanistan annually to cover it.

Rather, with massive illiteracy among recruits and the well-documented corruption in Afghanistan meaning hundreds of millions of dollars in gear just vanishing without a trace, keeping the military machine running, even if they are bankrolled from abroad, looks to be far more than the military’s “leadership” is prepared for.

Indeed, the report doubts that the military will even manage to transfer food to all of its troops in the field properly, and cautions that the Afghan police are in even worse shape, basically letting NATO handle all of their paperwork and making no effort to get up to speed. Since the US is on the hook to stay through 2024 and the rest of NATO, despite nominally promising a 2014 withdrawal already has a deal in principle to stay, its a job they’re likely to retain for a long time to come.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.