Foreign PolicyForeign Policy

Smuggled Afghan Weapons Are Arming Regional Insurgents

By Ruchi Kumar

08 Jul 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

A report on how former Afghan army soldiers were left with no option but to sell off their weapons which have eventually ended up in the hands of militants and led to a spike in violence.

When the Afghan government collapsed last Aug. 15, Sardar, a 38-year-old Afghan major, could not believe that the institution he gave 12 years of his life to collapsed like a deck of cards. He’d dodged years of threats from insurgent groups and plenty of bullets—only to watch then-Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fly away and leave them all to the mercy of a vengeful Taliban.

The first thing Sardar (he asked not to use his full name for security reasons) did was take off the army uniform that placed a target on his back and stashed away his “Brita”—his government-issued Beretta M9 sidearm. “My pride was reduced to dust; all my dreams were gone at once. When I reached home, I couldn’t even tell my mother what I had done, stripping away my honor with the uniform,” he said.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content