Today, The Two Mikes interviewed U.S. Army Major General Jeff Schloesser (ret’d). He is a former commander of the 82nd Airborne Division and led it while the unit was in Afghanistan. The General also is the author of the new and much-praised book, Marathon War.
General Schloesser said that there is much inaccurate information circulating about the size of the Afghan Army, claiming that the largest number of troops in that force that he ever knew of was 118,000, nowhere near the 350,000 that is being reported from the White House and the media.
Of that number, the General estimated that one-third were “ghost soldiers”, names who were listed on the rolls as active but were either fictitious names or the names of dead people. The pay of these men were siphoned off by their unit commanders or by higher-ups.
General Schloesser also explained that the Afghan Army was largely illiterate and therefore was difficult to train. The troops learned to use many of the U.S.-supplied weapons, but never understood how they worked. Likewise, the Afghan Army was never able to set up a logistics system that could work smoothly with that of the U.S. Army.
The General said that the United States probably never deployed a large enough force to give the Afghan government a theoretical chance to survive, but at the base of its demise was the crippling corruption that was enormous in both the Afghan Army and government.
General Schloesser concluded by saying that he expected the Chinese regime to move quickly into Afghanistan to try and secure access to its rare earth minerals.
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