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Frustration Abounds With Afghan Army, Police Force

Over the weekend, in partnership with Newsweek, we reported that U.S.-funded efforts to train the Afghan police force have been a disaster, despite billions put to the task. According to a report from McClatchy Newspapers today, the Afghan National Army isn't faring much better:

Marines routinely disparage soldiers in the Afghan National Army as lazy and incompetent. One platoon leader recently avoided taking Afghan soldiers on patrol in favor of ANCOP officers because the soldiers were hours away from ending their tour of duty.

"I'm not f***ing with the ANA," the platoon leader said. "F*** those guys. They don't give a f***. They're leaving tomorrow." He asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The U.S. has reportedly spent seven years training the Afghan National Army, and has only more recently begun training the Afghan police.

And while we're on the topic of the police, USA Today has a piece today that rather generously calls them "a work in progress":

Military leaders say they are impressed at how far the police units have come in the past two years as coalition forces have intensified training.

"I'd give them a 'four' when we got here," says Barber, whose battalion moved into Arghandab District in December. "They're about a 'seven' now."

That rosy assessment comes in stark contrast both with what we've reported and with what a State Department and Department of Defense inspector general's report said about the police training program last month:

The ANP training program that is in place does not provide the ANP with the necessary skills to successfully fight the insurgency.

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