Resolute Support said the Pentagon has stopped salaries of 30,000 ghost soldiers in the Afghan National Army
Watchdog Warns Of More Ghost Soldiers In Security Forces
Integrity Watch Afghanistan (IWA) on Saturday said the number of ghost soldiers in security departments is more than what Resolute Support (RS) has reported.
RS said on Friday the Pentagon had stopped the salaries of 30,000 ghost soldiers in the Afghan National Army (ANA) and that the U.S will only pay salaries of those soldiers who are registered biometrically.
“Some soldiers are stationed in one province and then moved to a more secure province, or a soldier is assigned to work in a district, but he stayed in the province center. And there are soldiers working under security forces’ structures, but they only maintain security of government officials. If you consider these and assess the ghost soldiers, the number will increase,” said Mohammad Nasir Timori, a member of IWA.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) however rejected the claims and said there is not a single ghost soldier in the ANA.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) meanwhile said they have started assessments to find out the exact number of police serving under the structure of the MoI.
“In the past few months (war season), our security departments faced challenges in different parts of the country. We are working hard to overcome the problems. But ghost soldiers is a separate issue and we have addressed concerns raised in this regard” MoI spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi said.
However, concerns have been raised that if reports on corruption in security departments are proved to be correct, it will have negative consequences on the overall situation of the country.
“Ghost soldiers is a big problem for ANA. We failed to recruit a big number of the soldiers for battlefields,” said Atiqullah Amarkhil, a former military officer.
According to the MoD the cost for an ANA soldier amounts to 1,000 AFs per day, and if RS’s claims are correct that there are 30,000 ghost soldiers, 11 billion AFs is wasted annually.