Why Afghan government has retired 162 Generals

Why Afghan government has retired 162 Generals

KABUL - Afghanistan Ministry of Defense on Tuesday said of the generals who retired this week, some of them were reserves at the recruitment department while others worked in lower levels and their services were no longer needed, TOLONEWS has reported.

The draft law for retirement of 2,000 generals and high-ranking military officers was finalized and approved by the Wolesi Jirga, the Lower House of Parliament, in November last year.

The Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said currently there are 5,000 educated youths who have applied to join the army.

“A big number of these generals were reserves at the recruitment department and were not working. Others were not in the army at all,” Waziri said.

“It means they were not included in the reform process and they were inactive. Some of them were generals but were working in low levels.”

Ousted Balkh governor Atta Mohammad Noor meanwhile said “some people in government misuse the name of the youths to achieve their own goals”, referring to government’s decision on pensioning off the generals.

"It is good that the youths come and (join the army), but they only use the name of youths to achieve their own goals," Noor.

President Ashraf Ghani’s move was met with mixed reaction.

“How long should these people (generals) be in the army and in power? It is fine that they served, but eventually they should retire, and an opportunity should be provided for the young generation,” military affairs analyst Mohammadagul Mujahid said.

“Among these 162 generals, there are elite people and the army will face problems after losing them,” military affairs analyst Jawed Kohistani said.

On Sunday, Ghani signed the retirement orders of 162 military generals and according to the defense ministry, the second and third phases of retirement process will be implemented this year.

Based on the new retirement law, colonels will retire at the age of 54, major generals at the age of 58, lieutenant generals at 60 and generals will retire at the age of 62.