When Training Afghan Soldiers-Duck!

During the past ten years over five thousand American soldiers have died in Afghanistan and Iraq while over 30,000 were wounded so the death of one or two more will not lead to dramatic headlines in the media. Some US soldiers in Afghanistan were conducting a training exercise that did not involve use of live ammunition but an Afghan soldier had some live bullets in his rifle, turned and killed two Americans before himself being killed. A minor incident, not the most important of the decade, but perhaps among the most significant. I went through basic training a half century ago and it was common to use live bullets in our exercises. I am confused why an exercise did not entail use of live ammunition. The incident once again demonstrates that American soldiers are just at risk involved in training as they are when involved in combat. Our “allies” may or may not be allies, they could just as well be members of the Taliban.

The incident once again demonstrates that Afghanistan needs leadership at the highest levels of dedicated and honest men and women who seek to create a prosperous and democratic society. Unless people have confidence in their leaders it will be necessary to conduct training exercises without live ammunition. The problem is not American soldiers, the problem is a corrupt and unpopular Afghan government,