Tuesday, June 01, 2010

We'll Train the Police

 The Canadian military mission in Afghanistan comes to an end in 2011. After that the Canadians will be reassigned to training the Afghan police. That should be a snap, because Canada has been involved in training the Afghan Police for a number of years, now. How well have we done? We've done great!

 Has the program been successful? Not a chance!

 This Utube correspondent reports on the 'elite' Afghan police unit, ANCOP, which has been deployed in Marjah the area recently 'liberated' by the 'surge' forces. The same old problems, exacerbated by a couple of new ones, are glaringly evident. As in the 'bad old days' that gave rise to the Taliban, this unit are 'foreigners' amid the people they police. They don't even speak the same language. They're probably not welcome among the Pashtun. But, being as since they're armed, and backed by the Americans, they have a superior feeling of what policing means. It's not that they like what they're doing. For, as it says, the attrition rate for the unit is 67 percent with - well-trained police quitting to join the regular army.

 Why? It's because this 'SWAT' squad has developed a military reputation. So much so that, as the officers claim, they're deployed as front men for NATO forces and the Afghan army. And they're getting killed first.

So what does this mean for the future. If things go as they have gone for the past 8 years, and there is no indication that anything will be done differently, as the Canadian instructor says, "We've done everything wrong."

Doing the wrong thing is the last thing to be doing in Afghanistan. Like in medicine, it's better to do nothing, for doing the wrong thing only causes needless hurt and suffering, not to mention the waste of resources that could have been used for something else.

If, in the 8 years Canadians have been training police, and seeing the results they've seen, and not having been willing or able to change anything, even staying to go on  training police is a waste of Canadian resources. It would be better to leave half the money we spend  for them to use as they see fit. Even if somebody steals it, we would only look stupid, not wrong. And, boys and girls, as even our point people admit, 'We've done everything wrong' training Afghan police.

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