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U.S. Mentors Are Ill-equipped to Train ANDSF: SIGAR

(Last Updated On: September 22, 2017)

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says the U.S. mentors are ill-equipped and inexperienced to train the Afghan National Police.

According to a new report released by the watch-dog, one military official even used movies to learn how to teach law enforcement techniques to the Afghan police officers.

“The U.S. government lacks a deployable police-development capability for high-threat environments, so we have trained over 100,000 Afghan police using U.S. Army aviators, infantry officers, and civilian contractors,” SIGAR John Sopko said during a speech Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The only ministerial advisory training program is designed solely for civilians, but in Afghanistan, mostly untrained military officers are conducting that mission.”

As an example, Sopko said they have met a U.S. Army helicopter pilot who was tasked to teach policing and highlighted some more examples.

“You should have police or people with police backgrounds teaching police,” Sopko said. “And it is silly to have a really well-trained Army helicopter pilot teaching police. That just doesn’t make sense. You’ve got to align it.”

Since 2002, the U.S. has spent more than $70 billion to improve the capability of the Afghan forces by providing support and trainings, but it seems there are still a lot of issues with the U.S.-led mission.

Sopko warns that billions of dollars could be wasted unless changes are made to the way Afghan troops are trained.

In another example, Sopko said U.S. officials used PowerPoint presentations based on US-NATO Balkan operations in their training sessions with Afghan police.

“The presentations were not only of questionable relevance to the Afghan setting, but also overlooked the high level of illiteracy among the recruits,” he said. “Such cut-and-paste activities lifted from one country and slapped onto another like a decal are not likely to boost the prospects of overall success.”

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