Acknowledging his government’s ‘almost absolute’ dependence on the US, President Ashraf Ghani has said the Afghan National Army will not last more than six months on its own.
But Gen John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, said in the same programme that with America’s new strategy and with increased US pressure on Pakistan to cooperate, he was certain he could win Washington’s longest war, which was now in its 16th year.
Mr Ghani was speaking in an interview to a television show CBS 60 Minutes, broadcast earlier this week, Pakistan daily Dawn reported.According to a transcript released on Tuesday, a CBS journalist asked the Afghan president to comment on what she had heard from people in Afghanistan: “If the US pulled out, your government would collapse in three days.”
“From the resource perspective, they are absolutely right. We will not be able to support our army for six months without US support, and US capabilities,” President Ghani responded.
In a report titled “Kabul under siege while America’s longest war rages on”, the US news channel noted that “in 16 years, the Afghan war has cost 2,400 American lives and $1 trillion.
But with the country’s capital under siege, the end still seems far away.”
“Did you just say that without the US support your army couldn’t last six months?” the journalist, Lara Logan, asked again.