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Valley Public Radio Staff
Sun September 2, 2012
U.S. Military Suspends Training Of Some Afghan Forces
Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 6:36 am
The U.S. military is suspending the training of all new recruits for the Afghan Local Police for at least a month in order to give American trainers time to re-vet current Afghan troops for ties to the insurgency.
The halt affects the training of 1,000 new Afghan Local Police while the existing force of 16,000 is re-vetted.
In a story first reported in The Washington Post, the move comes in the wake of numerous attacks on American and NATO forces by their Afghan colleagues. The Post reports that many existing security measures were not followed, measures that might have prevented these incidents, for fear of slowing the growth of the Afghan forces:
"Special Operations officials said that the current process for vetting recruits is effective but that a lack of follow-up has allowed Afghan troops who fell under the sway of the insurgency or grew disillusioned with the Afghan government to remain in the force."
The New York Times reports that this will not affect the majority of Afghan forces who are currently being trained and are still working in the field. Right now there are more than 350,000 Afghan National Army soldiers and Afghan National Police members. The Afghan Local Police is a smaller, but important program, The Times reports.
"There are currently slightly more than 16,000 members of the Afghan Local Police, a relatively new program that has sent American Special Operations forces into more rural areas to train Afghan recruits who are not part of the main Afghan army or police. These Afghan Local Police, while comparatively small in number, are regarded as an important stopgap to secure remote corners of Afghanistan as international troops withdraw."
The United States and its allies have been training Afghan troops so they can slowly take over security for the country by the end of 2014.
So far 45 international troops have been killed in 34 insider attacks this year — at least 12 in August alone.