Report: Russia Recruiting US-Trained Afghan Commandos

Photo: AP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • The Associated Press reported Monday that Russia is recruiting former Afghan special forces — who were allied with US troops in Afghanistan and fled to Iran following the US withdrawal — to fight in Ukraine.

  • According to three former Afghan generals, Moscow aims to enlist thousands of members of the elite former US-trained National Army Commando Corps in a "foreign legion." The ex-servicemen — trained by US Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets — are reportedly offered a monthly payment of $1.5K and security to avoid deportation to Afghanistan.

The Spin

Establishment-critical narrative

The fact that former elite Afghan soldiers could end up fighting alongside Russia in the Ukrainian war is a remarkable irony in history. Washington only has itself to blame for this turn of events, having abandoned tens of thousands of Afghan US-trained soldiers after twenty years of war. Not for the first time, Washington's misguided military ventures could end up turning against the US itself.

Pro-establishment narrative

The fact that Russia is recruiting Afghan mercenaries shows one thing above all: Russia is incapable of bringing Ukraine to its knees. Therefore, it's not surprising that Wagner recruited prison inmates to fight on the front lines. Given the incompetence of the Russian army and the declining morale among Wagner's troops, it's wishful thinking to believe that Afghan mercenaries will make any difference.

Establishment split



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