What Determines Rank Of General In Afghanistan, Money or Merit?

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Claims have been lodged recently that soldiers who fight for years on the battlefields are not promoted, but instead those who spend a comfortable life in Kabul are promoted to the rank of general because of their relations with high ranking officials.

In the past, an EU special representative to Afghanistan said that the rank of general is granted to someone in Afghanistan on the basis of money, but not on merit.

Back in September, a number of MPs, military analysts and even the ambassador of the European Union to Afghanistan criticized the Ministry of Defense (MoD) for allegedly issuing someone the rank of general in exchange for money.

“How do you become a general or colonel in the Afghan security forces, well that is not based on fighting skill, that is based on the size of your wallet and that doesn’t change, you are going to have that problem, I also raised that conversation, something that I like to remind the people, that is how many generals does Afghanistan have,” he said.

Footage that recently appeared on social media shows that Khalil Rahman, the son of Abdul Rahman Rahman deputy of ministry of interior, has been promoted to the rank of colonel.

In addition to this, Noorullah Anwari, son of Sayed Hussain Anwari, former security advisor to the president, also got the rank of general. It is said that there are a number of individuals who have received high military ranks in this way.

President Ashraf Ghani said however that he would personally interview any candidate before he is promoted to the rank of a general. But recently general ranks were granted to a number of relatives of government officials, a move that sparked strong reactions.

Recently Mohammad Salim Almas, the brother of MP Mohammad Almas Zahid was promoted to the rank of general. Sources have said that he was awarded one more military rank.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) however says that Almas was promoted to the rank of a general on the basis of merit and qualification but gave no information about the date of the promotion.

“For promotion, naturally it depends on someone’s achievements and hardwork,” said Najibullah Danish, deputy spokesman to MoI.

A source close to the president on condition of anonymity has told TOLOnews that the president does not test all candidates for the rank of military general except some individuals whom the president doubts.

European Union Ambassador to Afghanistan says that the number of generals in Afghanistan is several times more than those in Britain, Italy, Germany or France.

“Mr. Hekmatyar had promoted hundreds of people with his own pen, former president Rabbani granted the ranks of generals to hundreds of thousands, General Dostum has also given the post of generals to hundreds of people in the past, these issues need reforms and it takes time,” said MoD spokesman Dawlat Waziri.

“Our experienced officers and professional military cadres who today fight on the frontline and lead the war in a critical situation have been pushed to the sidelines despite their capabilities,” said Mohammad Nadir Baloch, senator.

“Afghanisstan has not become a standard country, Afghanistan is a country where there has been a rule of tradition over the past 5,000 years despite the presence of the law,” said military analyst Mirza Mohammad Yarmand.

It is said that the promotion of individuals to the ranks of general has left significant impacts on the war with the insurgents.

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