Professor Frank Ledwidge: What is happening in Afghanistan is not surprising

NEWS 16.08.2021 14:49

What is happening in Afghanistan is not surprising, and part of the reason why locals have started recognising the Taliban as the winners is that the Afghan army represents “one of the most corrupt” governments in the world, Former British diplomat and Senior Fellow in the University of Portsmouth, Frank Ledwidge, told N1.

“This has been in the pipeline for many years,” he said, arguing that what is happening did not come as a surprise to most observers.

“The war was lost really by 2009. If we want to go back further, we can say that the key point was the diversion to Iraq in 2003, 2004,” he said, explaining that until 2004 “things were going well.”

“But since then, we have (…) been developing what amounts to a shell of a state, riddled with thieving and corruption, which has the faith and loyalty of very very few of its people. The two and a half trillion dollars that the United States have poured into the country have been either blasted away into the dust, or transferred into the bank accounts of the thieving gangsters that run the Afghan government in places such a Dubai or other jurisdictions,” he explained.

Ledwidge called the Afghan military a “ghost force,” explaining that “those units who do fight are often composed of very brave individuals, but they’re fighting amongst their people who have no faith in their government, and who see an insurgent group who are highly capable to some degree, on some levels – but who are essentially their own people, whether or not they agree with their programme.”

He explained how the situation would be perceived by someone living in the south of Afghanistan.

“The northern part, from where most of the army comes, speaks a totally different language,” he said, explaining that those are different ethnic groups.
“So they’re as foreign to the southern Afghans as we were essentially,” he added.

But this is far from the only problem, Ledwidge noted, adding that the Afghan army represents a government that is “one of the most corrupt and thieving in the world.”

So it is “not surprising that the insurgents got the upper hand,” he said, adding that in the past weeks, the people of Afghanistan have started to recognise who the winners are – “which is, in this case, the Taliban.”

More about the situation in Afghanistan, but also about the developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially in light of the recently imposed ban on genocide denial, can be heard in the full interview linked above.


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