Some of the barriers to training and utilizing an Afghani army.
The above link leads to a story sourced by NPR, called All Things Considered. One telling part of the story:
Years ago, a U.S. general told us that not only couldn’t many of the Afghan officers read or write, but they couldn’t count. He said the Americans at times would draw a large rectangle in the dirt, telling the officers they needed enough soldiers to fill that space.
Why are we just hearing about this NOW?
Isn’t NPR – National PUBLIC Radio – SUPPOSED to be the ‘unbiased news source’ – and, for that reason, is supported in the American people’s national budget? I know ONE item I’m in favor of jettisoning on the next budget.
Now, I applaud the soldiers for being creative enough to come up with ways to work with the locals. That’s kind of a standard American trait, and allied to the culture, that is intrigued with Redneck Engineering.
But, this information should have changed the mission, from trying to build a ‘modern’ military, to training the few educated people to lead the illiterate many. Which would have been a lower-tech military, which wouldn’t have pleased all those military vendors pushing their highest-tech equipment and materials.
We’uns, once we manage to take control, are going to have to track down all of the villains in this debacle, prosecute them, strip them of their assets, and put them in the pokey for a LONG time.
ALL of them – public AND private.
I found this on Taki today, and it makes some sense. Maybe we ought to be looking, not at parliamentary models of government, but at balanced monarchies with regional power strongholds. And, make it clear to the rulers that we would NOT continue supporting them, should they prove not willing to work with the others to keep the country stable. The only thing that all should agree upon is that both religious power centers and Leftist power centers should be kept from reaching the effective stage. Don’t really care about HOW they put down dissidents.
It has been known since the beginning that the Afghan army was inept, and unreliable in battle. They could not be trusted. Our soldiers never knew when an Afghani soldier would turn against them, or simply turn and run away.
Afghanistan, like most of the countries in that region, has a tribal mentality. That makes it nearly impossible to implement a single government, or army. Rather than try to build up a single Afghani army, they would have done better to train and equip regional armies that would protect their own tribes.
Yep. Gotta read Bill Whittles’ Tribes again.
I am ever more inclined toward Poul Anderson’s view of things:
[Poul Anderson, “No Truce With Kings”]
The problem, of course, is that the superstates can, as long as they hold together, militarily overwhelm the little states…unless the little states have a superstate protector of their own. And so we get the superpower standoff of the Twentieth Century.