‘Spiraling Increases’ in Afghan Police Deaths
Posted on Oct 1, 2009
International efforts to expand Afghanistan’s security forces are being undermined by “spiraling increases” in violent deaths among the nation’s police officers as the eighth anniversary of the U.S. war approaches.
International efforts to rapidly enlarge Afghanistan’s national police force are being undermined by “spiralling increases” in deaths and the growing use of “quick fix” training courses that give recruits as little as three weeks to prepare for fights with the Taliban, two highly critical reports have warned.
The documents, for different arms of the European Union mission in Afghanistan, warn that the soaring death rate among the country’s poorly trained and equipped police is deterring fresh recruits from coming forward and prompting many experienced officers to quit.
Building up a large and effective force capable of keeping insurgents out of villages is seen as essential to quelling the Taliban insurgency. In a document leaked last month the US general commanding Nato forces, Stanley McChrystal, called for an increase in police numbers to 160,000 from the current 82,000.
A European commission report recommends 136,000.
Reports also criticize the “quick fix” training of police recruits, which sometimes lasts only three weeks before they must engage Taliban militants in combat.