DM: Afghan Forces Already 96% Independent

Afghanistan ready to operate without US

Concern about the Afghan government’s readiness to see the US occupation end after only 19 years aside, DM-nominee Asadullah Khalid noted that 96% of Afghanistan’s military operations are already carried out independently.

In short, the Afghan military is already broadly operating independently, and is not relying on the US beyond some very specific things. When the US leaves, that’s not going to be a huge issue.

Joint operations have been few and far between for awhile, and the Afghan military may not be ready to handle the Taliban in direct fighting everywhere, but they are used to the idea of doing so.

A steady US drawdown has given the Afghans time to learn to handle things themselves,  and it seems they’re ready as they’ll ever be.

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.