Sunday, April 11, 2010

'Continued failure' to please the US

MacKay says Canada will continue training Afghan police post-2011
CanWest: 'We will then transition into some of the other important work that we're doing. That includes a focus on police training. The Prime Minister has been clear in saying our commitment to Afghanistan is for the long-term.'

Canadian Press: A police training program would go part way towards meeting a US demand that Canada stay engaged in the Afghan fight... It's well-documented that Ottawa was driven into Kandahar by the political desire to please the US.

Spiegel: 'We don't recognize the Afghan reality, and that's why we will fail there,' says the inspector... 'The establishment of rule of law in Afghanistan is an illusion'... The plan isn't working... As one instructor says, confessions are all that count in the world of the Afghan police. The instructor once asked one of the Afghan officers how he obtained confessions. The officer replied by pointing, somewhat shyly, to his baton...

No one knows how many of the 98,000 police officers trained to date are actually performing their jobs, how many are merely shown on salary lists, and how many have been recruited by the Taliban... Some police academy graduates promptly fall into line with the usual customs and collect bribes at checkpoints. 'Among the population, they are denounced as highwaymen.'... The Association of German Criminal Police Officers is calling for a suspension of the mentoring program... arguing that 'continued failure is inevitable.'...

The New York Times: One in five recruits tests positive for drugs, while fewer than one in 10 can read and write -- a rate even lower than the Afghan norm of 15 percent literacy. Many cannot even read a license plate number. Taliban infiltration is a constant worry; incompetence an even bigger one... 'They'll be out there on a checkpoint with an automatic weapon in a couple of weeks, said one of the trainers... 'I wouldn't want to be an innocent civilian downrange of them.'

Newsweek: 'We are still at zero,' says Captain Moqim, 35, an eight-year veteran of the force. 'They don't listen, are undisciplined, and will never be real policemen.'... Crooked Afghan cops supply much of the ammunition used by the Taliban... The program has been a disaster... Ambassador Richard Holbrooke... has publicly called the Afghan police 'an inadequate organization, riddled with corruption.'... The worst of it is that the police are central to Washington's plans for getting out of Afghanistan... And what has become of all the billions of dollars this program has cost?...Government investigators aren't entirely sure.
Image source here.