SIGAR found the most important factor in the former ANDSF’s collapse in August 2021 was the US decision to withdraw military forces and contractors from Afghanistan, which was based on the US-IEA agreement signed in February 2020 under the Trump administration.
SIGAR stated the reasons for the collapse of the republic government were No country or agency had complete ownership of the ANDSF development mission, leading to an uncoordinated approach.
Former Afghan President Ashraf Ghani governed through a highly selective, narrow circle of loyalists, destabilizing the government at a critical juncture. Even at the outset of his first term in 2014, Ghani a former World Bank official and a favorite of many in the international community—adopted an assertive and undiplomatic approach to dealing with perceived rivals. The president’s political and social isolation appears to have been a function of both his personality, and his desire to centralize and micromanage policy implementation.
The length of the U.S. commitment was disconnected from the reality of the time required to build an entire security sector; The U.S. created long-term dependencies that would require significant time to overcome, such as providing the ANDSF with advanced equipment they could not sustain and leaving them out of the equipping process;
The U.S. military, driven by political deadlines, struggled to balance winning battles with letting the ANDSF gain experience by fighting on their own;
The U.S. metrics created to measure the development of the ANDSF were unable to effectively measure ANDSF capabilities; Afghan corruption harmed ANDSF capabilities and readiness;
The U.S. control of the battlespace and of key governance systems restricted Afghan ownership of important military and governance systems;
The U.S. and Afghan governments failed to develop a police force effective at providing justice and responsive to criminal activities that plagued the lives of Afghan citizens.