Afghanistan Lacks Resources to Properly Vet Police Recruits

Despite glaring signs of failure, NATO chief Rasmussen says timetable of withdrawal 'remains the same'

Although the US military has suspended the training of some Afghan police recruits so they can be re-vetted in response to rising “insider attacks,” Afghan officials say they lack the resources to properly screen new Afghan security force trainees.

These so-called “insider attacks” – in which Afghan security recruits turn their guns on NATO trainers – have become so common that they are now the leading killer of NATO troops in Afghanistan. Up to 45 NATO troops have been killed by their Afghan counterparts this year, mostly Americans.

Afghan officials at a recruitment center near Kabul told CBS News that past measures to improve screening processes have failed to root out Taliban infiltrators planning on killing NATO troops. A good part of the “insider attacks” are thought to be about personal grievances, so those are even harder to identify.

Earlier this month it was reported that the Taliban’s supreme leader Mullah Omar issued a statement bragging about extensive insurgent infiltration in America’s trained security personnel in Afghanistan.

“They are able to (safely) enter bases, offices and intelligence centers of the enemy,” he said. “Then, they easily carry out decisive and coordinated attacks, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.”

As a former US official told Dexter Filkins of the New Yorker, “several hundred soldiers in the Afghan Army are thought to be agents for the Taliban or for Pakistan.” He said that many insurgents who have infiltrated the Afghan forces and killed US troops “had been planted in the Army by the Taliban or by Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan’s main intelligence branch.”

Despite these glaring signs that the US mission in Afghanistan is a failure and cannot be salvaged, NATO’s Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said Monday this “will not derail our plans for transition…Our goal, our strategy, our timetable [to withdraw in 2014] remain the same.”

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for