News

    Key Local Afghan Police Force Slow to Catch On

    This is part three of David Axe's three part series on efforts to hand over security to Afghans. Part 1 --> http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/Coalition-Forces-Train-Local-Police-to-Stop-Taliban-142463925.html | Part 2 --> http://www.voanews.com/english/news/asia/US-Afghan-Alliance-in-Key-Town-Threatened-by-Mistrust-of-Police-142465085.html

    David Axe

    With the Obama administration's plan to withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by 2014, U.S.-led coalition forces are racing against the clock to train a new local police force in one vital Afghan town. But it is not easy convincing eligible men to enlist.

    Coalition planners say they need 100 police officers to secure Marzak. Village elders promised at least that many men would volunteer for a new Afghan Local Police force. But by late January, fewer than 50 had stepped forward.

    Noor Khan, the district chief of the national police, worries that without enough recruits, the coalition will be blind in Marzak.

    "Right now we need the ALPs because they are of these people and from this town and they can identify potential bad guys who don't belong," said Khan.

    After elders skip a scheduled meeting in late January, Sergeant Scott Herring leads a force of U.S. and Afghan soldiers into Marzak, seeking fresh recruits -- and an explanation.

    "Right now, we've come into this town, and we were hoping that we would be able to get in touch with the elders who were supposed to meet us at 11:00 as they promised us, with recruits, which they did not. So we came here to see if we could find them and meet up with them, and the whole city is abandoned," said Herring.

    Spotting a few young men, Herring pitched police service to them without success. Herring finally tracked down several elders. They reluctantly offered up excuses.

    "This is a heavily, as you know already, heavily Taliban area," Herring noted.  "They're scared. They're scared of repercussions and all these things. It's hard to get them to understand that the stronger we make them, there's no repercussions because they'll be too strong for anyone to come in here and do anything to them. That's the convincing we have to get through [to them]."

    With daylight fading and still no new recruits, the Afghan troops accompanying the Americans come up with a plan.

    The Afghan soldiers announce they will force the elders to enlist unless at least 20 young men volunteer. The threat works. Herring gets his 20 recruits and more.

    The patrol returned to base, its ranks swelled by reluctant enlistees.

    Perkins defended the forceful tactics of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).

    "The general consensus is early on, the development of the Afghan security forces tends to rely a little bit heavily, or more heavily, on forceful recruiting or conscription," said Perkins.  "Then as time goes by, a critical mass starts to develop, and more people feel comfortable joining."

    But there's one question no one has answered. Will the new police officers be willing to risk their lives fighting the Taliban, especially after U.S. troops leave Afghanistan in 2014?

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora