Govt: ANDSF Ready to Shoulder Security of Afghanistan

The Afghan government on Thursday said the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) are fully prepared to take the responsibility of providing security for their country.

The Office of the National Security Council (ONSC) said that Afghanistan is battling on the frontline of a war against terrorism, and stated that international cooperation to Afghan security forces will continue even after the end of the mission of foreign forces.

Meanwhile, members of ANDSF have said that the Taliban shouldn’t “miscalculate” that the withdrawal of foreign forces will help them win the war in Afghanistan.

They said that the all Afghan soldiers serving in the ranks of the ANDSF are ready to defend their country against any hostile move.

A TOLOnews’ reporter on Thursday visited a unit of the Afghan Special Operation Forces in Chahar Asiab district near Kabul where members of the Special Operations Forces reiterated their commitment to defend Afghanistan.

“The Afghan security and defense forces are ready to maintain the security of Afghanistan, we are thankful to the international community,” said Hayatullah Hayat, the acting Minister of Interior.

“We are not less than the neighboring countries, we are ready to serve voluntarily, we will not let anyone cast an evil eye toward our land,” said Sayed Agha Pacha, a member of the Special Operation Forces.

NATO has committed to continue supporting ANDSF until 2024. However it is not clear whether the alliance will continue its cooperation to ANDSF in the wake of President Joe Biden’s decision to withdraw American troops by September.

“We will defend our soil till the lost drop of our blood,” said Shafiullah Hamdard, a member of the Special Operations Forces.

“They have 20 years of war and combat in the battlefields, the majority of them came to get ready for that day when the Americans will leave,” said Shafiullah Hamdard, a commander of the Special Operations Forces.

Currently there are about 300,000 soldiers serving in the ranks of the ANDSF. The expense of these soldiers is estimated at $4 billion annually.

Meanwhile, US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin said that US troops have accomplished the mission that they were sent to Afghanistan to accomplish.

“And they have much for which to be proud. Their services and their sacrifices, alongside those of our Resolute Support and Afghan partners, make possible the greatly diminished threat to all of our homelands from Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups,” he said.

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced the full withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan, who have stayed in the country for nearly 20 years, an announcement that was accompanied by concerns of plunging the war-ravaged country into a new civil war.

Biden said that it has been 10 years since Osama Bin Laden’s death, and it is time to end America’s war in the country and to bring US troops home.

“We will begin our withdrawal on May 1,” Biden said, adding that it will not be a “hasty rush to the exit,” and if the Taliban attacks, the US will defend itself and partners with “all the tools at our disposal.”

Announcing a full withdrawal from the country, Biden said, “We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago.”

“That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021,” he added.

“Today, the Afghan people police their own streets, they defend their own interest. They elect their own leaders, many of whom are women. They send their children to school. And they own and operate more private enterprises than ever before. There is still too much violence, to be sure. And we know the Taliban still will seek to reverse some of this progress,” said US Defense Secretary Austin.

The Afghan government says that currently the ANDSF are conducting 98 percent of the operations on their own.