GAO Report: U.S. Has Limited Contact, Oversight of Afghan Troops and the Gear They’ve Been Given by Kyle Rempfer - Military Times
The Defense Department is still struggling to develop an Afghan military that can sustain itself, despite the U.S. having spent nearly $84 billion on Afghan security over the past 17 years, according to a new report.
The Government Accountability Office has found that U.S. advisers almost never interact at the tactical level with conventional Afghan troops. As a result, there is little to no oversight over how well regular Afghan soldiers maintain U.S.-funded equipment.
Advisers do spend significant time with Afghan special operations forces, such as the Afghan Commandos, but those troops are generally better vetted, trained and remain more loyal to the Afghan government.
Conventional Afghan troops, though, make up roughly three-quarters of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, or ANDSF.
Under NATO’s Resolute Support mission, which began in 2015, U.S. and coalition forces do not embed with Afghan conventional forces below the corps and zone levels except in limited circumstances.
Instead, U.S. advisers must rely on Afghan troops to report information, which, according to Pentagon officials who spoke with the GAO, may be unreliable…