4 years, 9 months ago
Eventually the goal is to turn over the security of the Afghan population to the Afghan National Army and Afghan Police. This lofty goal is a long way off, according to the intitutional problems known to exist within the Afghan police. Drug addiction is the first hurdle.
Sixty per cent of the Afghan police in the country’s southern province of Helmand use drugs, it is claimed.
The estimate, made by a UK official working in the province, was contained in emails obtained by the BBC.
International forces are fighting a fierce counter-insurgency campaign against Taleban militants and other insurgents in Helmand.
But British officials are clearly worried about the reliability of the Afghan police.
“We are very concerned by the levels of drug abuse among the police,” the British Foreign Office said in a statement.
On patrol with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team of the 10th Mountain Division we get the raw reaction to the Afghan police and their lack of honor and integrity.
“The police are just worthless,” fumed Fulat Khan, 20, when Haight said his troops were backing up the local cops. “Anytime there is a fight in the community, the police just laugh and watch it. We need an organization or a number we can call so somebody can come here and help us.”
This report is profoundly troubling, especially given the previous reports of drug problems in the Afghan National Army. There is much work to do within the government and institutions themselves in order even to begin to turn over security to Afghanistan.