Friday, February 5, 2010

More Omelets, Please!

This article focuses on the shortfall of training teams in Afghanistan.  I am not 100% sure but I think they are referring to OMLTs (Observer, Mentor, Liaison Teams  or ELMOs in French) and POMLT's [Police trainers].

And yes, numbers do matter, but there is the paragraph that reveals some knowledge gaps:
An official said the 27 NATO nations not counting the United States had agreed to establish 197 police training teams and 104 army training teams. The United States already leads 278 police training teams; Germany has 8, with promises of 38 more.
The problem is that the German police cannot leave base, and, as far as I can tell, it is damn hard to observe (not to mention mentor and liaise) when the folks you are observing are not in sight.  So, increasing from 8 to 46 POMLTs may have more of an impact than adding 1000 Italians to RC-West (I just learned the Italian troops rotate every three months, which is a colossal joke), but whenever counting contributions to the various missions in Afghanistan, one must take a close look at who is being added to do what.   And this does not even consider that the countries have very, very different beliefs about what we should teach the Afghan police.

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