Inability to Recruit Afghan Locals Imperils US ‘Pullout’

No One Wants to Be Police in Helmand Province

The Helmand Province is poor, and violent, and local police are paid next to nothing for a job that is very likely to end in death for them and their family. Needless to say, people aren’t exactly lining up for the positions.

But the US “pullout” strategy is based on eventually handing these regions over to local security forces, and the inability to recruit meaningful forces will leave the US Marines locked in endless struggles in the Helmand Province with no allied force to leave behind.

Even the recruits they do get are of the worst possible quality, and the province has a persistant problem of police moonlighting for the better-paying Taliban, hurting the credibility of the security forces among the public.

Recent pay raises have but them “almost at parity” with the Taliban, which is creating its own set of problems. Afghan President Hamid Karzai suggests that the costs of paying even these subpar wages will mean Afghanistan will need international funding until at least 2024.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of