• Monday, Jan 30, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

What we know about Afghan military losses since June

  • Published at 07:14 am August 14th, 2021
Afghanistan Taliban Offensive
File photo; Afghan National Army commando forces walk along a road amid ongoing fighting between Taliban and Afghan security forces in the Enjil district of Herat province on August 1, 2021 AFP

The immense amount of equipment provided to Afghan security forces over the past two decades is hard to overstate, numbering some 25000 Humvees alone 

As the Taliban keep gaining ground in Afghanistan by seizing many of the provincial capitals with their eyes now on capital Kabul, Afghan security forces do not only struggle to stop the insurgents, but incur heavy logistic losses.

While the pullout of US troops and their Nato allies has been praised by some and heavily criticised by others, one thing clearly pops up in everyone’s mind: the US-led mission for two decades to defeat the Taliban proves to be an utter failure.

Ousted from power in 2001 after the September 11 attacks on the US, the Taliban are expanding their grip across the country so fast that even an American official feared the militants could make a move on Kabul within days. 

With direct US air support, intelligence assets and logistical support soon unavailable to the Afghan military, its forces will have immense difficulty in confining Taliban forces to their current areas of control, read a June 23 article in the military-affairs blog Oryx.

Also Read - Taliban seize more Afghan cities, assault on capital Kabul expected

The withdrawal of US contractors still attached to the Afghan military can only exacerbate the situation, and would likely ground much of the Afghan Air Force within weeks after their departure, the article then predicted.

The development as of August 14 gives a clearer picture of the military’s strength. Last week, Afghanistan has replaced its army chief, which means the military appears to be badly grappling with tackling the militant group.

Similar to its withdrawal from Iraq, the US leaves behind a broken military apparatus that despite the investment of tens of billions of dollars is ill-prepared to face the Taliban.

Also Read - Lawmaker: Hundreds of Afghan soldiers surrender to Taliban near Kunduz

The immense amount of equipment provided to Afghan security forces over the past two decades is hard to overstate, numbering some 25,000 high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (HMMWVs) or Humvees alone. 

A lack of protection against IEDs means that these vehicles offer little of the protective capabilities of MRAPs available to Nato forces in Afghanistan. 

The blog, however, prepared a list of destroyed and captured vehicles and equipment of the Afghan National Army and National Police since June based on photographic or videographic evidence. It claims that equipment destroyed is undoubtedly higher than recorded.

The losses 

All 11 tanks (seven T-54 and four T-62) belonging to the security forces have been captured as yet, the list mentions.

Also Read - Afghan army chief replaced amid Taliban gains

Of 45 armoured fighting vehicles (40 M1117 armored security vehicles, three M113 armored personnel carriers, and two M1117 command and control vehicles), 40 have been destroyed. The rest were captured . 

Fifty-eight artilleries and mortars as well as eight anti-aircraft guns have been captured. 

No less than seven aircrafts and helicopters have been destroyed while another 10 captured.  

One unmanned aerial vehicle has been destroyed and six others got captured.

Out of 1,854 trucks, vehicles and jeeps, 102 have been destroyed, while the rest have been captured. 

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