Less than a month ago, German General Hans-Cristoph Ammon declared the effort to train Afghanistan’s police, Germany’s whole raison d’etre in the seemingly endless war, “a miserable failure,” and said that at the current rate of progress “it would take 82 years to have a properly trained police force.”
The situation is no better now, of course, but in Germany there is growing dispute between the military and the police over whose fault this failure actually is. Deutsche Welle reports that many in the military are complaining about the paucity of German police being sent for the training effort.
Its hard to argue that there are sufficient German police, only 32, to build a functioning police force across the entire Afghan nation. Yet there is little to be done about it: German police cannot be ordered to deploy overseas. What’s more, police complain, in a nation where few places are safe and travel is always by armored convoy, the situation really isn’t suitable for police at any rate.
In the end, there is little the German government can do but throw money at the problem (recently donating another $4 million to Afghanistan’s police force) and hope that somehow, through no doing of their own, the situation resolves itself. That’s certainly not the direction the over seven-year-old war is trending, of course, and as Germany awakes to the realization that what has been presented as “development assistance” is in reality a full scale (and increasingly bloody) war, the population is likely to put increasing pressure on the government to end a mission they know perfectly well isn’t accomplishing much.