How the Taliban Paid Their Way to Kabul, Bribing Unpaid Troops to Lay Down Their Arms

A state so corrupt salaries are not reaching its military and police

The spectacular collapse of Afghanistan’s military that has allowed Taliban fighters to reach the gates of Kabul on Sunday despite 20 years of training and billions of dollars in American aid began with a series of deals brokered in rural villages between the militant group and some of the Afghan government’s lowest ranking officials.

The deals, initially offered early last year, were often described by Afghan officials as cease-fires, but Taliban leaders were in fact offering money in exchange for government forces to hand over their weapons, according to an Afghan officer and U.S. official.

Over the next year and a half, the meetings advanced to the district level and then rapidly on to provincial capitals, culminating in a breathtaking series of negotiated surrenders by government forces, according to interviews with over a dozen Afghan officers, police, Special Operations troops and other soldiers.

During just the past week, more than a dozen provincial capitals have fallen to Taliban forces with little or no resistance. Early Sunday morning, the government-held city of Jalalabad surrendered to the militants without a shot fired, and security forces in the districts ringing Kabul simply melted away. Within hours, Taliban forces reached the Afghan capital’s four main entrances unopposed.

The pace of the military collapse has stunned many American officials and other foreign observers, forcing the U.S. government to dramatically accelerate efforts to remove personnel from its Kabul embassy.

The Taliban capitalized on the uncertainty caused by the February 2020 agreement reached in Doha, Qatar, between the militant group and the United States calling for a full American withdrawal from Afghanistan. Some Afghan forces realized they would soon no longer be able to count on American air power and other crucial battlefield support and grew receptive to the Taliban’s approaches.

“Some just wanted the money,” an Afghan Special Forces officer said of those who first agreed to meet with the Taliban. But others saw the U.S. commitment to a full withdrawal as an “assurance” the militants would return to power in Afghanistan and wanted to secure their place on the winning side, he said. The officer spoke on the condition of anonymity because he, like others in this report, were not authorized to disclose information to the press.

The Doha agreement, designed to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan, instead left many Afghan forces demoralized, bringing into stark relief the corrupt impulses of many Afghan officials and their tenuous loyalty to the country’s central government. Some police officers complained that they had not been paid in six months or more.

“They saw that document as the end,” the officer said referring to the majority of Afghans aligned with the government. “The day the deal was signed we saw the change. Everyone was just looking out for himself. It was like (the United States) left us to fail.”

The negotiated surrenders to the Taliban slowly gained pace in the months following the Doha deal, according to a U.S. official and an Afghan officer. Then, after President Joe Biden announced in April that U.S. forces would withdraw from Afghanistan this summer without conditions, the capitulations began to snowball.

As the militants expanded their control, government-held districts increasingly fell without a fight. Kunduz, the first key city overrun by the militants, was captured a week ago. Days of negotiations mediated by tribal elders resulted in a surrender deal that handed over the last government-controlled base to the Taliban.

Soon after, negotiations in the western province of Herat yielded the resignation of the governor, top interior ministry and intelligence officials and hundreds of troops. The deal was concluded in a single night.

“I was so ashamed,” said a Kabul-based interior ministry officer, referring to the surrender of senior interior ministry official Abdul Rahman Rahman in Herat. “I’m just a small person, I’m not that big. If he does that, what should I do?”

Over the past month, the southern province of Helmand also witnessed a mass surrender. And as Taliban fighters closed in on the southeastern province of Ghazni, its governor fled under Taliban protection only to be arrested by the Afghan government on his way back to Kabul.

The Afghan military’s fight against the Taliban has involved several capable and motivated elite units. But they were often dispatched to provide backup for less well-trained army and police units that have repeatedly folded under Taliban pressure.

An Afghan Special Forces officer stationed in Kandahar who had been assigned to protect a critical border crossing recalled being ordered by a commander to surrender. “We want to fight! If we surrender, the Taliban will kill us,” the Special Forces officer said.

“Don’t fire a single shot,” the commander told them as the Taliban swarmed the area, the officer later recounted. The border police surrendered immediately, leaving the Special Forces unit on its own. A second officer confirmed his colleague’s recollection of the events.

Unwilling to surrender or fight outmatched, the unit put down their weapons, changed into civilian clothing and fled their post.

“I feel ashamed of what I’ve done,” said the first officer. But he said if he hadn’t fled, “I would have been sold to the Taliban by my own government.”

When an Afghan police officer was asked about his force’s apparent lack of motivation, he explained that they haven’t been getting their salaries. Several Afghan police on the front lines in Kandahar before the city fell said they hadn’t been paid in six to nine months. Taliban payoffs have become ever more enticing.

“Without the United States, there was no fear of being caught for corruption. It brought out the traitors from within our military,” said an Afghan police officer.

Several officers with the Kandahar police force said corruption was more to blame for the collapse than incompetence. “Honestly I don’t think it can be fixed. I think they need something completely new,” said Ahmadullah Kandahari, an officer in Kandahar’s police force.

In the days leading up to Kandahar’s capture earlier this month, the toll on the police had become visible. Bacha, a 34-year-old police commander, had been steadily retreating for more than three months. He had grown hunched and his attire more ragged. In an interview, he said the repeated retreats had bruised his pride — but it was going without pay that made him feel desperate.

“Last time I saw you, the Taliban was offering $150 for anyone from the government to surrender and join them,” he told a reporter as the interview drew to a close. “Do you know, what is the price now?”

He didn’t laugh and several his men leaned forward, eager to hear the answer.

Source: The Washington Post

  1. Raptar Driver says

    Where did the Taliban get the money?
    Did they sell Taliban fighters sexy calendars?

    1. paschn says

      Prior to the kosher pharmaceutical companies’ poppy derivatives killing hundreds of thousands in this sewer, the “evil” Taliban had cut poppy growing/exports to nearly zero.
      Then, this hole began PROTECTING poppy growers and production shot up 700%.
      The cost for raw materials plummets and voila! They begin an opioid epidemic.
      Wasn’t it the son of a premier terrorist, Rahm Emmanuel, who stated, (boasted?) never let a good crisis go to waste?
      One would hope a nation’s people would wake up to the lies from “WMD’s” to the carnival show re; 9/11 but it seems they fear appearing politically incorrect over the collapse of this nation.

    2. Jerry Hood says

      From your yiddish speaking megabanksters!

  2. silver9blue says

    Some said they are muslim and actually preferred to be governed in Islamic ways. They said before they had several people kind of elected or chosen as heads of like villages and found that better than what the Americans were doing. Proves again you can not force American democracy down peoples throats.

    1. Dick says

      Meanwhile the afghani president is driving around the aitport with bags full of cash…im guessing he was too corrupt to pay for the salaries. Good job globalists…now we can start another war with american middle class dollars to enrich our globalist elite masters.

    2. Jerry Hood says

      I been in USrael 22 years, and all I saw there was: Demon-rats- CIA, but never-ever a hint of real democracy…22 years I followed only the Spotlight Newspaper from Liberty Lobby and Wilis Carto… The rest was zionazi propaganda filled with megalies!!!!

  3. Maiasta says

    Kit Knightly’s alternative take on what is happening in Kabul. The ‘withdrawal’ keeps the opium trade flowing:

    Kabul and the Survival of the Afghan Heroin Trade

    1. Mr Reynard says
      1. Maiasta says

        LOL. Yes, but i think Thaci and his thugs can rest easy. Uncle Sam is never going to let that business whither. Even if the Great Reset and it’s transition to digital currency is successful, instant revenue for dirty operations will always be needed.

      2. Jerry Hood says

        Bondsteel Base paralised by Kabul Airport with Taliban controlling it…The Kosovo/ Albania drug dealers will go nutts!!! Extortions and murder of each other will start…

        1. Mr Reynard says

          Let them wish Mazel Tov to all of them …

  4. Sallie Ann says

    The billions of dollars the US gave to Afganistan all went into the politicians’ pockets….not to the people….as usual.

  5. Berserker Screed says

    All these wars…
    Dictated by a secretive oligarchial “elite”
    Practicing and hiding behind a profane religion, protected by
    anti discriminatory laws of protection of “religion”

    Now what group represents that, cheers these wars for the “greater ” project.
    Meanwhile the changes are only
    the destruction of countries with no central banks,
    Non white invaders flooding white countries…
    One ethno religious group cheers it on
    Indeed crow about it shielded by laws to keep them untouchable…
    Oh and they throw blacks out of THEIR state!

  6. JameT says

    Perhaps the Taliban had been allocated USDollars by guess who, who had no other way that would enable them to get out.
    We will see how the Taliban deals with the “American” pirates in the future. Perhaps we will then be able to drop the first perhaps of this comment.

  7. JameT says

    Sorry, the pirate “America “

  8. Jerry Hood says

    They used the western and zionist currency= CORRUPTION! It always work in the West ked by Demon-rats!!!

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