The Sorry State of the Afghan National Police

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 3 months ago

Tim Lynch gives us this update on the state of the Afghan Police from his perspective.

There is not much good to report from Afghanistan at the moment. With armed criminality reaching epidemic proportions there is a flood of stories about the dismal state of the Afghan National Police (ANP). The Afghan police are not just ineffective – they are despised by rural people who will take the hard tyranny of the Taliban over being preyed upon by the police. This article puts the blame for Afghanistan’s dysfunctional police force on the Germans but that is BS. The Department of State has spent over 10 BILLION on their cookie cutter law enforcement training program which I have written about before. There is only one way to get the police to perform and that is to live with them, mentor them daily, and make them perform. Mentor teams who live on FOB’s and commute to the job become targets because their routine is fixed and predictable. The civilian contractors who work out of the gigantic regional training centers are essential worthless inflicting death by PowerPoint on their students.  What can they teach an Afghan cop about being an Afghan cop? Afghanistan cops are functioning as a paramilitary organization and are trained, armed and deployed as such. But some, perhaps a great many have retained the thuggish ways of warlord sponsored foot soldiers and that is obviously not too good.

The Marines continue to hold all the area they claimed in their massive operation and they too are finding the Afghan security forces to be their biggest problem.

Examining the Azcentral.com article a little more.

Afghan villagers had complained to the U.S. Marines for days: The police are the problem, not the Taliban. They steal from villagers and beat them. Days later, the Marines learned firsthand what the villagers meant.

As about 150 Marines and Afghan soldiers approached the police headquarters in the Helmand River town of Aynak, the police fired four gunshots at the combined force. No larger fight broke out, but once inside the headquarters the Marines found a raggedy force in a decrepit mud-brick compound that the police used as an open-pit toilet.

The meeting was tense. Some police were smoking pot. Others loaded their guns in a threatening manner near the Marines.  The U.S. troops ousted the police two days later and installed a better trained force they had brought with them on their recently launched operation into southern Helmand. The original force was sent away for several weeks of training the U.S. is conducting across Afghanistan to professionalize the country’s police.

What were these men thinking?  The worst thing a man can do in this situation is make U.S. Marines believe that they are under threat, and that you are the cause of it.  Yet … sending them away for training?  Really?

We have detailed the Institutional Problems with the Afghan National Police.  “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.”

Obama is searching for an exit strategy from Afghanistan, the cornerstone apparently being the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police.  Given the pitiful state of the ANA and the problems with the Afghan National Police we have seen here, his exit strategy is worse than mere wishful thinking.  It’s deceptive.  Afghanistan will be the longest campaign of the long war.




You are currently reading "The Sorry State of the Afghan National Police", entry #3439 on The Captain's Journal.

This article is filed under the category(s) Afghan National Army,Afghan National Police,Afghanistan and was published July 23rd, 2009 by Herschel Smith.

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