A Similar Story in Afghanistan



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Monday, December 4, 2006 - 12:45am

A Similar Story in Afghanistan

More than five years after the U.S. led invasion of Afghanistan as a result of the 9/11 attacks on America, the situation is bleak.  What fails the United States in Iraq is also failing them in Afghanistan.  The training of local police is abysmal.  The U.S. has poured billions of dollars into training Aghan and Iraqi police and have failed miserably.  Corruption is rampant and the local police are not able to handle basic responsibilities.


map of afghanistanThe administration states that American forces will stand down when Iraqis stand up.  That implies that Iraqi forces will be trained and will be able to secure their own country.  However, the U.S. administration has employed a similar strategy in Afghanistan, has had much longer to implement it, but still has failed.


If you want to know what will happen in Iraq in the next year if the strategy stays the same, look no further than Afghanistan. The United States has now been in Afghanistan for over five years and still has not been able to train enough Afghan police and military.  How do we expect Iraqi forces to be trained when we cannot replicate the same formula in Afghanistan, a nation that is, in comparison, more controlled?


The fact is that the civilian leadership does not know how to train Afghan or Iraqi troops.  They are wasting billions of dollars of our money and have now created instability in both countries. The President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, estimates that he needs far more than the 70,000 officers just to stop the violence in his country.


Once again, this is a question of troop strength.  With a limited number of allied forces in Afghanistan, the country is not as stable as it once was.  As a result, police cannot be trained without being infiltrated and/or killed.


This situation cannot continue much longer.  The U.S. needs to drastically change their strategy in these two wars.  If not, the Taliban will once again rise to power in Afghanistan and Iraq will continue to decline.  The situation calls for more troops in both nations, but the United States is not able to provide them. 


At some point, the U.S. will be forced to choose between the two wars.  Either withdraw from Afghanistan or withdraw from Iraq.  They do not have enough troops to occupy them both for an indefinite period of time.


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