Is the military of the Karzai government the cherished partner of the US occupation forces, as so many diplomats claim? Not if you believe recent reports from the Washington Post, which suggest the mistrust that has typified their relationship is far from over.
“Worthless,” was the word one soldier quoted by the Post used. Actually there was an expletive deleted before worthless, but it is unlikely this made the statement any better. “I’ve never seen them in any formation before,” the soldier added, “they’re never in uniform.”
Reports of Afghan soldiers defecting, sometimes killing US troops on the way out, are surprisingly common, and the hasty training and poor pay the troops receive doesn’t inspire confidence either.
But the situation isn’t all one way. The Post article also quotes an Afghan Army Lieutenant claiming to have caught US troops supplying the Taliban with ammunition during one operation. He’s sticking to his story, despite US denials, and the secretive behavior of the US troops has only solidified his belief that they are not trustworthy.
With a dramatic increase in the Afghan military the supposed “way out” for US troops after nearly a decade of occupation, the strained partnership is causing serious problems. And no matter how many times officials in Kabul and DC insist the situation is improving, it seems the distrust will remain.
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