Afghanistan Army 2,000 Generals, Colonels to retire in a major reshuffle

Afghanistan Army 2,000 Generals, Colonels to retire in a major reshuffle

KABUL - Dawlat Waziri, the defense ministry’s (MoD) spokesman, said on Monday they have finalized the outline of the retirement plan for Afghan National Defense and Security Force (ANDSF) generals, colonels and other high-ranking military officers who will be pensioned off over the next two years, TOLO News has reported.

This will affect almost 2,000 high-ranking officers. 

Waziri said they will start implementing the plan from December 2017 and will finish the implementation process in three phases over the next two years. 

“In the first phase, those who are on standby or working in lower positions will retire, in the second phase those who are older (will retire), and in the third phase the plan will be implemented totally and it won’t affect the army negatively,” said Waziri.

“This will provide opportunities for the young officers to grow and be appointed in higher positions,” interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said. 

Based on the new plan, in the next two years, 70 percent of the army’s generals will be pensioned off.

According to the plan, the generals will retire at the age of 62, lieutenant generals at 60, major generals at 58, brigadier generals at 56 and colonels will retire at 54.

Questions have however been raised over what the impact will be on the army and other security institutions once these experienced military personnel have left.

“Those generals who do not have military experience and work in civilian sections should retire. Because they are involved in corruption and even kidnapping and have ties with the enemy,” a former military officer Mohsin Mukhtar said.

“The army should become younger and government should replace those old people who cannot work properly,” MP Lailuma Hakimi said.

Based on the military law, an officer can be promoted to the rank of general at the age of 48, but in the new plan the retirement age for a brigadier general is 56. 

“Those who want to reconstruct the army in wartime and appoint less experienced people in such a time that war is ongoing must know that this is a big worry,” former military officer Atiqullah Amarkhil said. 

Some reports however show that in the army and police forces, there are generals who are not yet 38 years old and that there are generals who have gained the rank without having any experience or receiving the required training. This is what critics have complained about in the past.