Afghanistan: February 16, 2003


The new Afghan army has two of it's battalions deployed out in the countryside, along with teams of Special Forces advisors. The Afghan troops have proved competent at small unit (squad and platoon) operations, but still lacking skills at company level and battalion operations. The training of the Afghan troops emphasized not being corrupt and not robbing and attacking local civilians. In the past, this had been common practices among many Afghan troops. But the good behavior of these two battalions has made civilians more willing to report anti-government activity, and caused hundreds of young men to apply to join the army. Still, at the rate things are going, it will take several years to recruit and train the 70,000 man army. And then there is still the problem of disarming hundreds of thousands of warlord fighters, plus anti-government groups like the Taliban and drug gangs.


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