News / Asia

NATO Struggles to Build Viable Police Force in Afghanistan

Multimedia

Jennifer Glasse

NATO has discovered it is not well equipped to train a new national police force for Afghanistan and has turned to the European Union and private contractors for guidance.

Afghan police beat their batons against their shields in a drill showing how they would react if a demonstration became violent.

They are the most highly trained of Afghanistan's police forces designed to handle difficult situations.

Italian Carabinieri Brigadier General Carmelo Burgio is helping train the police. He says they are just what Afghanistan needs right now.

"They are the right tools for this kind of job because they are policemen, so they have the mentality of policemen. They have to deal with people, but they have also a sort of military training," says Brigadier General Carmelo Burgio.

The police in Afghanistan are accused of widespread corruption and are said to make money from bribes at checkpoints or at the border. In November an Afghan policeman killed five British soldiers who were training him. Their commander told a British newspaper recently that police corruption is fueling the insurgency.

But six months ago, NATO set up a new command for training the police, and its officials say they are working to eradicate the culture of corruption and ill-discipline.

Earlier this year, police salaries were increased and many are now being  paid through bank transfers, so no one is able to take a cut of a policeman's pay before it gets into the hands of the employee.

Journalist  Massoud Farivar produces radio programs broadcast across the country. He says what NATO is doing is a start, but there is still a long way to go.

"I think there has been some change, but I do not think there has been significant change in the police," says Farivar. "In general, I would say that there is greater public trust in army than police. The police is still seen as incompetent, corrupt and predatory."

The man in charge of developing the police force, Canadian Major General Mike Ward, says that can be corrected with training.

"If people see them as incompetent, corrupt and predatory, they should also see them as untrained. We can address the untrained part," Major General Ward said.

Perhaps because of the pay raise, recruitment for the force is strong. Attrition rates had been high, likely because police have been threatened and killed by insurgents, especially in the south around Kandahar, the Taliban heartland. Ward says police are targeted because they are working with NATO.

"The police are the ones that are in the fight every day," he added. "They are the ones dying in tremendous numbers, being injured, being wounded. Their families are under great risk and threat."

The police are at the center of NATO's strategy for wresting control from the Taliban in southern Afghanistan, particularly around Kandahar.

A police convoy heading to Kandahar for the offensive was attacked eight times by insurgents on the road. That they defended themselves well is considered a victory, but NATO and Afghan police officials say there is still a lot of work to do before Afghanistan has a police force it can depend on.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

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.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid