Friday, December 12, 2008

Corruption: Corruption hampering Afghan army expansion

Endemic corruption is one of the main obstacles to the Afghan army and police being able to take over their country's security duties, the U.S. general in charge of their training said Thursday, Reuters reported.

The United States is considering sending an extra 20,000 troops to Afghanistan in the next two years to try to beat back a Taliban insurgency that is growing in strength and scope.

But commanders recognize that any "surge" in foreign troops can ultimately only buy time to expand for the Afghan army and police to learn to stand on their own feet.

"The final point is corruption, corruption, corruption; it is endemic," U.S. General Robert Cone, commander of the force that trains the Afghan army and police, told Reuters in an interview.
"It has amazed me in my time here how Afghans will hurt other Afghans -- when they have been given a great opportunity to ... run a program that is going to help so many - ... and (instead) basically take care of themselves first."

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on a visit to Afghanistan Thursday that he wanted to speed up efforts to double the size of the 68,000-strong Afghan army.

"I'm often asked 'How fast you can grow the Afghan army and police?'," Cone said.
"I will tell you that one of my hard and fast rules is that we have to do it in a responsible manner. We have to know where the weapons are ... We have to know where the equipment is.

Source: FOCUS Information Agency
Published by Mike Hitchen, Mike Hitchen Consulting
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This blog will be on holiday from Dec 15 2008 -Jan 12 2009!