Afghan General: Long Way to Go on Capable Army

Long Way to Go on Competent Police as Well

In one of the most uniformly pessimistic comments imaginable, Afghan Brigadier General Sherin Shah warned that the nation has a “long way to go” before it will be able to create a capable army.

According to Shah, the Afghan Army is short of medics, short on weapons, lacks a competent police force and has insufficient training to cover their massive lack of experience in fighting in a Western-style military.

The comments come just a month after British Prime Minister David Cameron’s assessment, which claimed that the war in Afghanistan was going so well the British military would be able to withdraw very soon. He cited the “improvements” of the Afghan military as justification.

Though NATO has repeatedly “emphasized” the goal of escalating the power of the Afghan military, the poor pay and extreme danger of the positions as Afghan soldiers have made recruitment difficult, and large numbers of people have abandoned their posts after receiving a paycheck or two. With efforts to show “progress” in the size of the military this has led officials to shorten training periods, and in many cases Afghan soldiers have been put on patrol after just a few days of training.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.