• publish: 19 October 2015
  • time: 8:31 pm
  • category: Politics
  • No: 1821
Ahmad Zia Massoud:

Most appointments in Afghan National Army Based On Nepotism

President Ashraf Ghani’s special representative for reform and good governance, Ahmad Zia Massoud on Monday claimed that nepotism has, for a while, been the basis for appointments within the Ministry of Defense (MoD).

Calling the move unprincipled, Massoud maintained that many military officers were appointed based on personal relations and that in many instances they are unable to deal with counter-insurgency actions.

He also said a number of newly-appointed officers currently lack military training experience.

“We raised the issue with the National Security Council and made it clear that a number of commanders were appointed based on nepotism which undermines war management,” Massoud said while meeting ANA commanders who recently fought in Kunduz.

Massoud’s remarks came a day after Ghani ordered the appointment of a number of key military officials to fill posts which were being run by caretakers.

Ghani has however said on different occasions that he would distance security institutions from politics.

Political interference in appointments and promotions aren’t acceptable, Ghani said while visiting war-hit city of Kunduz last week.

In a recent move, the defense ministry recommended a number of proposals to Ghani in an effort to bring about necessary reforms within the ministry.

But on Sunday night, Ghani promoted 61 ANA officers – some to heads of departments and some as generals – in a bid to increase capacity building, maintain security and protect national sovereignty.

The Ministry of Defense welcomed the appointments and said it was important to fill some key vacancies in efforts to curb militancy and to strengthen security.

“Sixty to 70 generals retired last year and their posts remained vacant. A decision was taken to fill some vacancies,” said a spokesman for the ministry of defense Gen. Habiburrahman Afzal.

Meanwhile, a number of ANA commanders who participated in the Kunduz war have complained about what they say are serious issues soldiers fighting the Taliban are facing.

One of their main concerns was that reinforcements took so long to reach Kunduz.

“One of the key problems is that reinforcements did not arrive quickly so that we could secure the area and move forward. We had to clear the area and move forward and take control of more areas. But we were supposed to defend the same areas as reinforcements took time to reach us. If they had been there the enemy would not have been able to confront us,” Khalid Amir, a commander of the Afghan special forces said.

Military analysts meanwhile accuse government of establishing the ANA according to ethnic structures. They have called for a nonpolitical army.

“We are still a long way from having nonpolitical police and army. Currently we do not have nonpolitical police or army. Even the country’s political structures have been formulated on the basis of certain ethnic and ideological perspectives,” military commentator Jawed Kohistani said.

“Today we need to have such an army [nonpolitical] keeping in mind that honesty, patriotism, qualifications and social justice are required for the appointments,” Kohistani said.

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