Among the greatest challenges facing American and Coalition forces in Afghanistan is the porous condition of the nation’s border. Despite seven years of war, the border police are only at 54% of the desired strength. As Col. John Johnson notes, “the effort on the border is just not where it needs to be in terms of security. They just don’t have the capacity.” Failure on the part of the Bush administration to institute a buildup of Afghan forces has resulted in poorly trained and ill equipped soldiers who lack the will or capability to defeat the Taliban. Johnson argues the Taliban increasingly are drawing their soldiers from Pakistani sources rather than from Afghan.
President Obama is sending more troops but in the end, the only way Afghanistan can prevent a total collapse is by developing their own military capabilities. The real question is whether the effort is too little and too late.