Joint Chiefs Chairman: Afghans ‘Reasonably’ Well Equipped, Trained

Won't Say If Military Is Ready to Fight Taliban

Twenty years of US occupation of Afghanistan have seen billions of dollars spent subsidizing the Afghan military into the unsustainably large force it is today. Afghan officials have repeatedly said they believe that it is self-sufficient for defending Afghanistan.

US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mark Milley is a lot more non-committal in that regard, saying the Afghan military has an uncertain future, and faces bad possible outcomes.

Talking about the Afghan military, Milley presented them as “reasonably well equipped, reasonably well trained, reasonably well led.” That would be a better sounding situation if the US, again, hadn’t spent billions of dollars getting them there.

The Afghans insist their military will be fine, and with ongoing efforts at a peace deal with the Taliban, the road to stability is doubtless paved with diplomacy, not endless military engagements.

In that regard, the Afghan military is plenty ready, and in the grand scheme of things, they’re a bigger and more ready military than Afghanistan could ever support on its own, so they’d better make it work.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of