June 09, 2009

Today's essential Afghan reading

The NYT's CJ Chivers on mentor challenges in Eastern Afghanistan:

The next [police] commander, Major Heintz said, was “a professional criminal who brokered a détente with the local Taliban” and who showed up with 10 or 15 of his own bodyguards, fired the police and put his gang into police uniforms. They then set up roadblocks and shook down motorists, he said...

Other [ANA] equipment has disappeared in vast quantities, trainers in the field said, including sleeping bags and warm clothing required to operate much of the year, especially at night. The shortages were so acute in 2007 that units in the 82nd Airborne Division canceled overnight missions because Afghan soldiers could not participate...

One American officer said Afghan soldiers had been issued the gear, often two or three times. They had either sold it or given it to their families, he said.

Don't think for a minute that these are exclusively U.S. problems.

Posted by BruceR at 08:51 AM