The US is now taking away Russian firearms used by the Afghan security forces, including the AK-47s Russia once gifted to Afghanistan.
In an interview with Sputnik Dari, Afghan Army spokesman, General Dawlat Waziri, said that the country’s military will continue using Russian firearms as long as they are functional.
“When the Russian arms are no longer usable and ammunition runs out, they will be replaced with US ones. As long as they work, we’ll keep using them,” the General said.
“Replacing Russian weapons is a crime against the Afghan Army”
When interviewed by Sputnik, former General and now a military expert, Abdulwahed Taqat, slammed Washington’s move as “treason and a crime against the Afghan people.”
“The protocol we have signed with the Americans does not say that we cannot either have or buy weapons from other countries. Every Afghan family, especially if they live in dangerous areas, has a Kalashnikov. If they take them away people will have no weapons to defend themselves and terrorists will kill them. Our soldiers are handy with Russian arms; they have been weaned on using them. Many of our officers speak Russian,” General Tarqat said.
“Throughout this war we have seen US weapons – they simply do not work. They are nothing compared with Russian weapons,” he emphasized.
“The Afghan Army is just a human shield for the US”
The editor-in-chief of Arsenal Otechestva (Arsenal of the Fatherland) journal, Alexei Leonkov, said that the weapons being supplied to Afghanistan by the Americans are similar to their Russian counterparts.
“The Americans have been sending arms to Afghanistan for quite some time now. Because the Afghan servicemen are familiar with Soviet-made arms, the Americans are sending in similar types. The US tries to send in weapons from the countries it controls, mainly from Canada and Croatia,” Leonkov said.
He added that building a modern Afghan army is not something the Americans really want.
“They need an Afghan army to serve as a human shield in case something goes wrong so that they can hide behind it. It is the Afghan army that has been hit the hardest by this war,” Leonkov noted.
Experts believe that rearming the Afghan army could take up to five years – a lengthy process that could have a negative impact of its combat efficiency.
“This is a very drawn-out process and a very painful one too,” said Mikhail Khodaryonok, a retired Colonel and now a military observer for the Gazeta.ru online paper.
“The Americans will find someone to sell these weapons to”
The experts all agree that the Americans will find use for the Russian weapons they take away from the Afghan military.
Alexei Leonkov said that the arms are very likely to end up in the hands of Daesh terrorists who are making their way into Afghanistan.
“The Americans are very practical and they will find someone to sell these weapons to. The arms could pop up anywhere, above all in areas controlled by […] what remains of the Daesh army, including those who are now in Afghanistan. [The weapons] won’t go anywhere. The Americans will always find a way to cash in, so they will not be throwing these arms away.”
General Taqat believes that the Russian arms will be sent to countries where the US forces are currently fighting in only to make their way back to Afghanistan and end up in the hands of the opposition.
“[The Americans] will take these arms away and sell them in Iraq and Syria and give them to their own soldiers. From there the Russian arms will go to Iran and back to Afghanistan where they will be sold to the Taliban,” the General concluded.
Afghanistan has been engulfed in a long-running war against a plethora of terrorist groups active in the country, above all Daesh and the Taliban.
The almost 17-year-old US military presence in Afghanistan has so far failed to win the war on terror.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.