Afghan minister says warlords are rearming militias as NATO forces leave
Afghanistan's current Minister of Energy and Water, Mohammad Ismail Khan, who is also a former leader of the Northern Alliance, which fought the Taliban until it was disbanded after the US invasion in 2001, said today that he and other warlords are rearming their militias in anticipation of NATO troop withdrawals. Khan had some scathing words for NATO forces, and said that NATO has failed to secure Afghanistan. From TOLONews:
Afghanistan's Minister of Energy and Water Mohammad Ismail Khan on Thursday said that the process of creating a military unit made up of the former mujahedeen fighters is underway to protect and secure Afghanistan because Nato had failed to do so.
Ismail Khan said in a gathering with former regional Jihadi commanders in west and southwest Afghanistan that the Mujahedeen should also be given more roles in the government as the foreign armies - the Nato-led international security assistance force Isaf - had failed to ensure stability in the country.
He emphasised that just as the Mujahedeen had previously driven out the foreign invaders, the Soviets, so too there was now a need for the Mujahedeen to again rescue the country from "foreign conspiracies".
"The foreigners sidelined those who had fought for ages," Ismail Khan said in western Herat province.
"They collected all our weapons, our artillery and tanks, and put them on the rubbish heap. Instead, they brought Dutch girls, French girls, girls from Holland, they armed American girls, they brought white-skinned Western soldiers, and black-skinned American soldiers, and they thought by doing all this they would bring security here but they failed," he added.
Khan and other former Northern Alliance leaders clearly do not believe that the surge has succeeded in securing Afghanistan from the Taliban. This stands in stark contrast to the recent assessment by US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, who said that the green-on-blue attacks and other Taliban actions were evidence of the "last gasp" of the Taliban.