Afghanistan: March 4, 2004


A major impediment in the search of al Qaeda and Taliban members has been the shortage of translators. Not only is it difficult to find people fluent enough in English and one of the languages of Afghanistan (mainly Pushto and Dari) to be useful to the troops, but also getting translators who are trustworthy enough (can get a security clearance) to handle sensitive operations (interrogations of al Qaeda and Taliban members). The US has 400 translators in Afghanistan, and about a hundred of them have secret clearances.


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