The talk among Pentagon officials that the Afghan military is increasingly able to operate on its own is just that, talk, as a new report includes comments from Green Berets criticizing the incompetence of the Afghan National Army.
The Green Berets complained particularly of an early June battle in the Zabul Province during which Afghan soldiers were refusing to fight and “hiding among trees and behind a rock” while they waited for the US troops to do the fighting.
Such reports aren’t normally the sort of thing that go public, and ended up in the report on a “friendly fire” airstrike that killed five US soldiers during the battle, with the report including all Green Beret comments on the matter.
The captain in the report said that Afghan National Army forces routinely show up with far fewer soldiers than promised, and are virtually unable to operate after dark. When the fighting picked up, the Afghan forces headed for the woods and waited for the fighting to end, “huddled behind a rock.”