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Recruitment of Afghan commandos by Russia

Recruitment of Afghan commandos by Russia


02 / 11 / 2022 World 92

Members of Afghanistan's elite National Army Commando Corps who were left behind, say they have been approached by the US and Western allies to offer to join the Russian military. Fighting broke out in Ukraine after the country fell to the Taliban last year, Several Afghan military and security sources say the US-trained light infantry force, which has been fighting alongside the US and other coalition special forces for nearly 20 years, Russia can make the difference, which is needed on the battlefield in Ukraine. When the US handed over Afghanistan to the Taliban in August 2021, 20,000 to 30,000 Afghan volunteer commandos were left behind.

Only a few hundred senior officers were expelled when the republic collapsed. Thousands of soldiers fled to regional neighbours as the Taliban hunted down and killed loyalists of the ousted government. Many commandos living in Afghanistan are in hiding to avoid arrest and execution.

Trending Articles The US has spent nearly $90 billion on building up the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. However, the force was grossly incompetent and surrendered the country to the Taliban within weeks but commandos were always held in high esteem, trained by the US Navy SEALs and the British Special Air Service. A symbol of the commandos' enigmatic success was the Battle of Daulatabad, where an Afghan commando unit fought the Taliban while waiting for reinforcements and resupply that never came in June 2021.

The unit was led by an American-trained major, Sohrab Azimi. The national hero is unemployed and hopeless when it is revealed that he had only three days of rest after fighting for 50 days before going into his last battle, many commandos are still waiting to be resettled in the US or Britain, making them easy targets for recruiters who understand the "band of brothers" mentality of highly skilled fighting men.

"This likely makes them easy pickings for Russian recruiters",  Afghan security sources said.

A former senior Afghan security official, who asked not to be named, said their integration into the Russian military would be "a game changer" on the battlefield in Ukraine, as Russian President Vladimir Putin recruits for his failed war and allegedly uses infamous mercenaries.

Wagner Group will sign up inmates.Wagner is a shadowy organization that does not officially exist but is believed to be run by Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Putin associate who is possibly funded by the GRU military intelligence agency. It reportedly first emerged in Crimea after Moscow's 2014 annexation of the territory from Ukraine, and has since appeared in Syria, Libya and elsewhere in Africa.

Prigozhin was recently filmed signing up prisoners in exchange for overturned convictions to reinforce Russian lines in Ukraine.

A military source said: "They have no country, no job, no future. They have nothing to lose. "It's not hard," he added. They are waiting for work in Pakistan or Iran for $3 to $4 a day or in Turkey for $10 a day, and if Wagner or some other intelligence service comes to a guy and offers him $1000 and if you get a guy to recruit, he might join half of his old unit because they're like brothers—and pretty soon, you've got a whole platoon.

Since the world's attention turned to Ukraine after Russia's invasion in February, Afghan commandos have been left high and dry. Instead of helping the Taliban evade death squads, the US and its allies have largely gone AWOL.

Referring to US intelligence assets — including Afghan commandos — he said they could "potentially pose a threat to the United States." Should they be forced to work with or cooperate with an adversary, including international terrorist groups such as [Islamic State-Khorasan] or state actors such as China, Russia and Iran?