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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid