The Dismal State of the Afghan Police

Newsweek has come out with a disheartening look at America’s $6 billion effort to bring the Afghan police force up to par, a group special envoy Richard Holbrooke called “an inadequate organization, riddled with corruption.” Reports show that up to 90 percent of Afghan police officers are illiterate, 15 percent test positive for drugs, many don’t know how to use their weapons, and some sell weapons to the Taliban. Training Afghan police is a key part of U.S. troops’ planned exit from Afghanistan, and in a recent meeting Barack Obama said to military officials, “Eight years and we didn’t train police? It’s mind-boggling.” New training efforts are under way but police are still widely distrusted by the Afghan people. “We are as disappointed with the new police as we were with the old police,” said one resident.