Afghanistan's Green Trend Exposes 100,000 'Ghost Soldiers' in Taliban Forces

Monday, 04/15/2024

Led by Amrullah Saleh, former Vice-President of Afghanistan, Afghanistan’s Green Trend (AGT) has disclosed substantial discrepancies in the Taliban's military roster, highlighting the prevalence of "ghost soldiers" within their ranks.

AGT's recent publication reveals that out of the reported 173,000 personnel in the Taliban's military forces, approximately 100,000 are classified as ghost soldiers. These ghost members are fictitious entities whose names appear in official records to illicitly claim additional benefits like salaries and food supplies, a practice rooted in systemic corruption.

This analysis was shared on Monday via the social network X, shedding light on the 2023 structure of the Taliban's military. The report notes significant variations in the actual presence of forces, stating, "In some areas, their presence is about seventy percent, while in others it drops to forty percent."

Further findings indicate that the true active duty strength of these forces is merely forty percent of the stated numbers. The total documented strength of the Taliban's army across various divisions stands at 173,724.

The report also touches on the undue privileges granted to certain Taliban personnel based on tribal affiliations, despite their nonexistence on the ground. This practice is reportedly more prevalent in northern Afghanistan, where the Taliban struggle for social support.

Additionally, AGT's intelligence unit has accessed employment records for over 50,000 staff members of the Taliban's Ministry of Defence, revealing that approximately 93 percent belong to the Pashtun ethnic group.

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