Afghan Police Penetrated by Taliban at ‘Every Level’

'Poorly Trained and Corrupt' Only the Beginning of the Problem

by Jason Ditz, November 04, 2009

Following this morning’s incident, in which a long-serving Afghan policeman shot five British soldiers and then disappeared into the Helmand Province, the status of the nation’s police force in increasingly coming under question.

Officials say the police have been successfully infiltrated “at every level” by the Taliban, meaning even seemingly loyal police, today’s attacker served without incident for three years for instance, could be ticking time bombs just waiting for the order to attack.

Corruption and incompetence are long-standing issues with the nation’s police force – as one British soldier put it “we were literally training them how to point a gun on the ranges, and telling them why you should not stop cars and demand ‘taxes.'”

Even with this training police extorting the public is a routine occurrence. Now it seems that on top of worrying about that foreign troops have to contend with the very real possibility that the police are Taliban plants.

The latest incident has drawn renewed interest to the war, long unpopular with the British public, among the nation’s press which is increasingly asking uncomfortable questions to a government determined to continue the war at any cost.

The British government so far seems to be trying to portray this as an isolated incident, yet the heavy toll for a nation not used to losing soldiers in foreign wars (at least in the modern era) likely will not lend itself to simple excuses.

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