Afghan Army Recruitment Dwindles Amid Taliban Threats

Taliban 'Fines' Relatives of Afghan Soldiers

As the Taliban gains growing amounts of territory across Afghanistan, more and more members of the Afghan military are from homes which are no longer under Afghan government control. That’s bad news for them, and worse news for relatives back at home.

One Afghan soldier described getting a call from his father in the Kunar Province, informing him that because his son is in the military, the family is being “fined.” The fine included a Kalashnikov rifle, seven cartridge magazines and $1,000.

That’s a lot more than the Afghan Army pays, and the risk to their families is resulting in recruitment efforts within Afghanistan are nose-diving, with multiple provinces down 50% in recruitment.

With the US/NATO escalation in Afghanistan assuming that they’ll be embedding with the Afghan military. This is going to be difficult, however, with the Afghan military struggling to fulfill recruitment goals to have anywhere near enough troops to go on the offensive.

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.