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'Kalashnikov Has Never Let Us Down': Afghans Go For Russian Arms

© AP Photo / Abdul Khaliq, FileIn this July 24, 2016 file photo, Afghan soldiers practice, in Lashkargah, capital of southern Helmand province, Afghanistan
In this July 24, 2016 file photo, Afghan soldiers practice, in Lashkargah, capital of southern Helmand province, Afghanistan - Sputnik International
Russia’s legendary Kalashnikov assault rifles are a household name in Afghanistan due to their high quality, ease of use and reliability.

Since the Americans started replacing Russian firearms used by the Afghan security forces with US-made ones, Afghan officers and military experts have had a chance to compare the two and they all agree that the Russian Kalashnikovs are hands down better than their US counterparts.

In an interview with Sputnik, Safiullah Mirbacha, the head of a police precinct with more than 1,000 police officers under his command, said that the

Russian AK-47 is really the go-to weapon for his men.

“This is because they know this weapon. The Kalashnikov is easy to use and it never misfires in combat situations. The Kalashnikov has never let us down,” Mirbacha said.

“We also use Makarov pistols,” he added.

Police General Zalamai Wardak joined in explaining that many Russian-made weapons that can be fixed and used again lie idle because the Americans want to sell their own weapons in Afghanistan.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Andy Veres, left, Provincial Reconstruction Team Zabul commander, re-enlists Master Sgt. James Sandifer, Forward Operating Base Smart mayor, on top of Alexander's castle in Qalat City, Afghanistan, July 7 - Sputnik International
'US Betrays Afghanistan by Replacing Russian Arms with American’ – General
“Russian weapons are much better than the American ones. The Western countries don’t want us to use Russian firearms, don’t want them to be repaired and used again. The Americans took away all the Russian-made weapons and gave us weapons that are no good as part of a rearmament program. We have a weak economy which is working for the West,” the general explained.

According to him, Afghan soldiers’ complaints about the bad quality of US-made arms make a lot of sense because “the Americans are getting weapons from other fronts and sending low-grade arms to Afghanistan.

He added that the Western countries are trying to use the Afghan market to serve their economies and that they are selling one US-made rifle for the price of three Russian ones.

The US banned the Russian-made Kalashnikov assault rifle commonly used by Afghan security forces weapon six months ago, replacing it with M4 and M16 rifles, in a bid to shift the Afghan army’s main weaponry from a Russian to an American system.

Some Afghan and Russian military experts believe that Washington’s program of rearming the Afghan security forces is counterproductive, is not meant to make the Afghan army strong and is undermining the country’s security.

READ MORE: Transfer of Force: US Redirects Air Power from Iraq and Syria to Afghanistan

They also think that rearming the Afghan army could take up to five years – a lengthy process that could have a negative impact on its combat efficiency.

Afghanistan has been engulfed in a long-running war against the Taliban and a plethora of terrorist groups active in the country, above all Daesh.

The almost 17-year-old US military presence in Afghanistan has so far failed to win the War on Terror.

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