December 9th, 2009
08:22 PM ET

Inside look at the Afghan recruiting process

Every morning, the Afghan National Army heads to the streets of Kabul to look for potential soldiers. As correspondent Atia Abawi finds, some are willing, but others? Not so interested.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. elviejo

    80% of Dallasman is on the money (pun intended). Our response to Afghanistan has always had a primarily military focus; the most costly in both human and economic terms. In itself an indication of failure or, certainly short sighted. Despite the emergence of military based internationalism (NATO, etc.), its obsolescence has become increasingly apparent. Intentionally or not, Al Queda, the various underground movements of WWII, Fidel in Cuba, Mao in China, etc., have demonstrated that a relatively small operation, with dedication and the support of the surrounding population can at minimum, be effectively disruptive. And "victory" is not necessary. what we have failed to acknowledge or disregard is that 9/11 was a symptom which did not require a "military" response. In fact it has proven non-productive. For, as is continually drummed into our brains "disaster" is just around the corner. And the ludicrous proposition that Muslims will somehow take over the world, plays only on fears rather than rational. If we want peace in the Middle East, the center of the conflict, it will involve give and take. Sanctions (do it our way or else) are unworkable: Iran, Korea, Cuba are pertinent examples. We "saved" Granada but it is now little better off than Haiti our client and a failed state under our tutelage. Afghanistan, no doubt, is in need of reform/modernization. It would cost less than half the presently planned expenditures to send 100,000 doctors, teachers, engineers and infrastructure technicians. Unfortunately our current "war president" is only listening to the generals who haven't a clue (why would they, they only know how to destroy?) and people whose thinking has not moved past that old and obsolete 19th century gunboat diplomacy model.

    December 11, 2009 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dallasman

    I don't see how the Afghans can build up an Army of 134,000 in 18 months nor 400,000 in 5 years. I do not believe they have the resources nor the will. What is clear is that President Karzai has his hand out for the next 10 to 15 years asking the coalition to pay his Army and Police. The recruits they do get are either Taliban that shoot our troops in the back or drug addicts. What also seems flawed, the General wants to protect populated areas which makes civilians more apt to be killed during attacks on the coalition forces. Also incredible, General McChrystal stated that there is much about Afghanistan that he did not understand. The General talks about consistency but before Congress seemed Inconstant with some of his remarks. Particularly, McChrystal said that Osama Bin Laden is not a major occupation for the U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Bin Laden should be a high priority target to weaken Al Qaeda. Originally, It was said that the 30,000 was needed to defeat Al Qaeda/Taliban but the story has changed to only occuping space in populated areas so as to deny access to the Taliban. What is certain, If there is no action against the Al Qaeda/Taliban on the border tribal areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, the mission will fail and Afghanistan will continue to be unstable. Redundant battle plans will be a great loss for taxpayers of the future generations to come and a sure detriment to our broke economy
    where businesses can't even borrow money. I really believe were being played for fools. The Afghan Taliban are related to the tribal people and most never left the country after the 9-11 attacks. I can't see the villagers keeping out their cousins, brothers where they grew up and still fight against foreign forces.

    December 10, 2009 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |