Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Departure of Private Contractors Was a Turning Point in Afghan Military’s Collapse

By Jack Detsch

16 Aug 2021 · 3 min read

Military analysts trying to understand the stunning collapse of the Afghan military are increasingly pointing to the departure of U.S. government contractors starting a month ago as one of the key turning points.

The Afghans had relied on contractors for everything from training and gear maintenance to preparing them for intelligence gathering and close air support in their battles against Taliban fighters.

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