The abandoned Afghan Commandos by US are gearing to fight against US-backed Ukraine. The Americans and Europeans left them and Afghanistan in lurch which infuriated the Afghan Commandos. Russia has now started to recruit them and this can prove to be a deathblow to the West in the Russia-Ukraine Crisis.
The 20-year mission of US in Afghanistan came to an end on 30th August, 2021. US lost 2,461 American service members and more than 20,000 were injured.
The Afghanistan war costed US $2 trillion in the 20 year span which amounts to $300 million per day. To put things in perspective, Uncle Sam has spent more to stave off the Taliban than Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, and the other 30 richest billionaires in America combined have to their names.
The US left thousands of US-trained Afghan commandos in lurch who have struggled to make their ends meet under the Taliban rule. Question arises, what happened to the roughly 22,000 Afghan special operations personnel that were trained in the US and served as the foundation of the much bigger Afghan army?
In the final years of the US’ military presence in Afghanistan, these commandos served as the army’s frontline in the struggle against the Taliban and other terrorists; their importance only increased when the US forces started to leave the country in 2021.
The Afghan army crumbled immediately after the abrupt fall of the Afghan government and the Taliban’s occupation of Kabul in August 2021, and the commandos were no exception. Only approximately 1,000 Afghan commandos were evacuated by the US when the Taliban took control, while a few others made it to Europe and Turkey. Almost 20,000 commandos were merely abandoned.
The commandos refused to surrender as they killed several Talibani terrorists. The commandos which surrendered were assassinated afterwards. Thereafter, the Taliban are actively looking for the remaining bunch.
As a result, several hundred former Afghan special operations force members and their families have reportedly sought asylum in Pakistan, while a small number have sought asylum in Tajikistan. Above all, a major chunk has escaped to Iran, where there are between 2,000 to 5,000 commandos, largely sheltered in Tehran and Mashhad.
The rest are engaged in combat within various opposition outfits, including the National Resistance Front in Afghanistan.
As the majority of them fled to Iran, they’re struggling to make their ends meet. The commandos there grumble about not having enough money to maintain their families or having to work long hours at low-paying jobs. Children of unregistered refugees are also not permitted to enroll in schools.
The commandos are now being recruited by Russia to fight in the Ukraine war. The sense of betrayal appears to be major reason for volunteering in addition to the severe economic situation.
The Wagner Group, a private military contractor with strong ties to the Kremlin, is behind the recruitment drive, according to media reports citing former Afghan commanders. The communications were succinct and straightforward, promising a $1,500 monthly pay, a resident permit for the troops’ families in Russia, and even passports. Salary promises of $2,500 were made to senior officers.
One of the commandos who agreed to fight in Ukraine said, “It was the Americans and the Europeans who handed us over to the Taliban. Believe me, one of my reasons for going to fight against Ukraine is that I understand that Americans and European countries are involved in the war, and for revenge I am going to fight against Ukraine to tell the Americans and Europeans that with your military training I am going to make you fail in the war in Ukraine.”
Many want to join Russia because of technological advanced army. Business Insider reports that as many as a third of the commandos in Iran have already agreed to fight in Ukraine. This figure ranges from a few hundred to as many as 1,500 commandos. Remember, these aren’t ordinary soldiers, these were a part of the special combat group.
Recruiters in Afghanistan now appear to be attempting to draw in former commandos. Former commandos have told that they have been requested to provide the contact details of ex-commandos who are still present in Afghanistan.
The rage of betrayal by US is being capitalised by Russia. The soldiers which were trained by America can prove to be final nail in the coffin for Ukraine.