The Taliban have announced plans to create their own air force and have a regular army of 100,000.
Representatives of the Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan, formed by the Taliban movement (banned in the Russian Federation), announced the start of work on the creation of a new air force. The incumbent head of the department, Muhammad Yakub, stressed that the aviation formations would not depend on assistance from other countries. He made the corresponding statement at a meeting with the staff of the Kabul airport last Friday. “We will create an air force that will not need the support of the United States, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan ,” the official said.
This is not the first time the Taliban have voiced this position, which concerns the reform of the country’s armed forces. Earlier, officials of the radical movement said that they were planning to create a national army of 100 thousand people.
As Taliban Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaki said during his recent visit to Pakistan, Afghanistan needs a relatively small but well-trained military force. The Taliban currently have at their disposal a colossal amount of weapons obtained as a result of the seizure of power in the state. In addition to the equipment that was in service with the Afghan army, combat vehicles, abandoned by the hastily retreating forces of the United States and its allies, also fell into the hands of the Taliban. The total cost of American military-industrial complex products in Afghanistan is over $ 85 billion. As a result, the Taliban have become the most armed radical group in the world.
Since the capture of Kabul, the movement has regularly deployed its new equipment and deployed it to different parts of the country. So, in mid-November, they held a large military parade in Kabul, according to the official version, timed to coincide with the completion of the training of 250 new servicemen. The Taliban marched through the capital, using M1117 armored vehicles and Mi-8/17 helicopters. At the same time, all the militants were armed with M4 assault rifles.
According to experts, the real purpose of this event was a demonstration of force – the radicals wanted to show the whole world that now they are not just a rebel group, but have their own regular army
Also, in the past few days, footage has appeared on social networks showing columns of military equipment. According to eyewitnesses, all combat vehicles were taken to neighboring Pakistan. Taliban officials have denied this information in an official statement. “We completely reject the smuggling of military equipment to Pakistan. We will not allow anyone to do this, ”said Said Khosti, spokesman for the Afghan Interior Ministry.
Now the exact location of the weapons is not known, the radical movement does not publish official reports on its actions and the movement of military property. Also, there is no information about the use of aviation equipment that was at the bases of the Afghan Air Force before the Taliban seized power in the country.
1.Taking into account the captured aircraft and helicopters, there are no particular problems with the creation of the Air Force as such. The problems are rather related to their functioning. Despite the fact that some of the pilots of the old Air Force went into the service of the Taliban, there are not enough of them, so the question arises of organizing training for new pilots, which requires maintaining the flight practice regime, which entails the consumption of fuel and lubricants and spare parts, which can also be problematic.
2. A big problem will arise with components and ensuring the long-term operation of captured vehicles, since Afghanistan does not have its own production. Accordingly, despite the pretentious stories about how they will create the Air Force without relying on external sources, in the event of a serious approach to this issue, the Taliban will somehow need to look for components abroad. Of course, the Taliban will demand the return of the planes that flew to the Central Asian republics during the fall of the Ghani regime and the flight of the United States. Some of the planes and helicopters that have flown off may well replenish the Afghan Air Force, and some go for spare parts as part of cannibalization.
3. A quick and relatively cheap option could be the purchase of a batch of strike-reconnaissance UAVs from Turkey or China after the completion of the Taliban legalization process
Purchase of “Bayraktar” or “Wing Long”, again, under the sauce of fighting the Khorasan vilayat in Afghanistan. Erdogan will certainly gladly sell UAVs to the Taliban if they agree to consider the possibility of a Turkish deployment in Afghanistan (although the Russian Federation and China will certainly be against such layouts). Pakistan and Qatar can act as alternative channels for obtaining UAVs.
4. Regarding the army, the declared number is quite modest, almost 3.5 times less than the Afghan army at Ghani
Part of the new army will include Taliban fighters who will continue their military service. The other part is the product of training in the corresponding camps, which have now moved from the mountainous regions to the location of the former army corps and educational institutions of the old army. Such an alignment will ensure a sufficiently high loyalty of the armed forces to the new government and at the same time will not burden the meager budget with the need for excessive defense spending