5 years, 4 months ago
Afghanistan is sending 8,000 to 10,000 troops to its most volatile southern provinces, where U.S. and NATO commanders complain of having too few Afghans to back them up, the Afghan Defense Minister said Saturday …
U.S. and British commanders complain the Afghan army and police have fielded far too few troops in the main battlefields, especially southern Helmand province, where 10,000 U.S. Marines and 9,000 British troops vastly outnumber their Afghan allies.
Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak told Reuters about 8,000 to 10,000 additional Afghan troops will deploy in Helmand and neighboring Kandahar, by far the deadliest areas for foreign forces since the war started in 2001.
Neither the British nor especially the U.S. Marines need Afghan National Army “backup.” They are implementing the policy dictated from above, namely a quick startup of the ANA. But one recent report from the Helmand Province isn’t so promising concerning their new Afghani colleagues.
The U.S. Marines were tense looking for bombs buried near a mud compound in this remote farming town in southern Afghanistan. Their new Afghan police colleagues were little help, joking around and sucking on lollipops meant for local kids.
The government had sent the new group of 13 police to live and train with the Marines just a few days earlier. Most were illiterate young farmers with no formal training who had been plucked off the streets only weeks before.
ANP, sure. But the ANA aren’t any better. We’d better plan on pacification of Helmand without the ANA or ANP.