Once again an American official has come out in favor of training the Afghan army in order to develop a secure Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged NATO officials to provide military personnel to assist in training the Afghan armed forces. He complained, “the U.S. has filled a disproportionate number of these teams in recent years, and I ask for your help to fill the gap.” He was referring to training of Afghan recruits and teaching them modern methods of fighting the Taliban.
OK, the US initiated this war, not NATO, the US provided arms to anti-Taliban forces and after the quick victory over the Taliban, these groups walked away with plenty of weapons. The US has been training Afghan soldiers for a decade and certainly is not as successful as desired. So, what is the problem?
No outside attempt to train Afghan forces will succeed until there is an honest government in Afghanistan. We are wasting money and time. There must be a government composed of technocrats who seek economic and military success rather than lining their pockets with money. NATO will not be any more successful than what has happened for over a decade. Begin at the source of problems–the government!