US Afghan Assistance Mission Ill-Prepared from Outset: Report
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction’s latest report on Afghanistan’s security forces described a US effort that for too many years either had the wrong mix of advisers or implemented strategies from other nations as not fitting for Afghanistan.
TV shows used as training guides and “cut-and-paste activities” were among the flaws, the US government watchdog report said as it examined why Afghanistan’s forces are unable to secure the country after 15 years of international assistance.
SIGAR particularly criticized community-policing training for 100,000 Afghan police officers, which was performed by US army advisers, infantry officers and, in at least one case, an army helicopter pilot. This militarized the force and resulted in an ongoing “identity crisis” within the Afghan National Police, SIGAR said.
“One US officer watched TV shows like ‘Cops’ and ‘NCIS’ to learn what he should teach,” SIGAR director John F. Sopko said, while speaking at a gathering in Washington on Thursday.
The report said the US training effort was ill-prepared from the outset, failing “to understand the complexities of the mission,” and highlighted early US partnerships with independent militias and politically constrained deadlines by Washington as undermining factors.
“Ultimately, the United States designed a force that was not able to provide nationwide security, especially as that force faced a larger threat than anticipated after the drawdown of coalition military forces,” the 283-page SIGAR report said.
“At one point, training sessions for Afghan police were using PowerPoint-based curricula from the US-NATO Balkan operations,” Sopko said. “Such cut-and-paste activities, lifted from one country and slapped onto another like a decal, are not likely to boost the prospects for overall success.”
The report comes amid deteriorating security within Afghanistan as the country is facing the emerging threat of Daesh (also known as ISIS or ISIL).