Monday, June 8, 2009

Progress in Afghanstan?

Just a quick mention of a piece in the NY Times. It does a nice job of illustrating the challenges facing the US, NATO and the Afghan government to build an Afghan army and police force. In my trip in Dec 2007, everyone said that the Army was several years ahead of the Police, in large part because the effort on the police had slipped through the cracks (or blame Germany?). I kept noticing an assumption that the slope of the police improvement line would be the same as the slope on the expansion of the Army line. I raised doubts, suggesting that training police would be harder--given the temptations and the complications. When I asked General Hillier about this, he was one of the few to see it the same way. And this article, more or less, suggests that the police puzzle is not going well. Not good as this stuff is essential for any kind of success.

Also cited this piece as it mentions a Colonel who was my boss's boss when I was in the Pentagon--now Major General Richard Formica. He helped me get placed on the Joint Staff on the Bosnia desk, so it is nice to see him getting an interesting job.

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