US Special Forces Suspend Training of Afghans

Posted September 2nd, 2012 at 7:35 am (UTC-5)
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The U.S. military in Afghanistan says it has temporarily halted the training of Afghan Local Police in order to redo the vetting of current members after a string of attacks by Afghan soldiers and police on their international allies.

Forty-five international troops have been killed in a wave of insider attacks in Afghanistan this year, throwing doubt on the ability of Afghan and coalition forces to live and work together during a key time in the transition to Afghan control of security. International forces are set to hand over responsibility for the country's security to Afghans by the end of 2014.

Colonel Thomas Collins, a spokesman for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Sunday the pause in training affects about 1,000 trainees of the Afghan Local Police.

Afghan Local Police forces that have already been trained will continue to operate.

A report in The Washington Post said the re-vetting process would affect more than 27,000 Afghan troops, including the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police.

The newspaper said Saturday the insider attacks had forced NATO officials to acknowledge what the Post called a “painful truth” — that the killings might have been prevented if existing security measures had been applied correctly.

U.S. forces in Afghanistan train the Afghan Local Police.

NATO is responsible for training recruits for the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. NATO has not suspended its training.

The Washington Post report says many military guidelines were not adhered to by Afghans and Americans because they did not want to hinder the growth of the Afghan army and police.

Special Operations officials say the current vetting process is effective, but lacks a follow-up that would screen out Afghan troops who have fallen under the influence of the insurgency or who have grown disillusioned with the Afghan government.