Killings of Afghan Police Soaring

Poorly Paid, Barely Trained Police an Easy Target

One would assume that responsibility for the war-fighting in Afghanistan would involve the 150,000 occupation troops or the massive foreign subsidized Afghan military. In reality, however, a lot of the burden is placed on the police.

Being a policeman in Afghanistan is a thankless job. Extremely low pay, little training and virtually no equipment have filled the position in large measure with two types: the crooked people hoping to use their position to demand bribes and addicts who are hoping to score a quick paycheck or two before disappearing (usually shortly after the training ends). It is a job most wouldn’t even consider if they had other options.

And believe it or not, its actually getting worse, with new reports suggesting that the death toll among Afghan police is rising precipitously, reports of 246 killed in the month of June alone, more than a 50 percent increase over any other month in the past year.

With joint operation forces armed to the teeth roaming the countryside, many insurgents are finding easier hunting in the police stationed on guard duty, where one officer reports he was told they “didn’t have enough guns to go around” and had to stand unarmed in front of the gate of the governor’s house. In addition to the stigma of being a policeman in Afghanistan, many are finding the uniform is a virtual bullseye on their back.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.