February 3rd, 2010
12:44 PM ET

Around the Web: A report on the Afghan police force

A New York Times story on Wednesday describes the efforts to bolster the Afghan police force as “faltering.”

Rod Nordland of the Times writes: “The NATO general in charge of training the Afghan police has some tongue-in-cheek career advice for the country’s recruits.

‘It’s better to join the Taliban; they pay more money,’ said Brig. Gen. Carmelo Burgio, from Italy’s paramilitary Carabinieri force.

“That sardonic view reflects a sobering reality. The attempts to build a credible Afghan police force are faltering badly even as officials acknowledge that the force will be a crucial piece of the effort to have Afghans manage their own security so American forces can begin leaving next year.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan on Monday offered to train the Afghan national army and police, according to a report by Farhan Bokhari of the Financial Times.

“If we get more involved with the ANA [Afghan National Army] there’s more interaction and better understanding [between Pakistan and Afghanistan]” Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, Pakistan’s army chief, said, according to the Financial Times.

“This [training of Afghan army and police] is better for the short term and long term. It is a win-win for ISAF [International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan], the U.S., Afghanistan and Pakistan”.

President Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget for next year, unveiled on Monday, includes $33 billion in supplemental funds for this budget year and $159.3 billion for next year's to pay for wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Funding for military families would increase 3 percent to $8.8 billion. The president would appropriate in advance $50.6 billion for veterans' medical care.

 Some other news reports and perspectives:

 - Hamid Karzai (Der Spiegel): “There has to be peace now

- Ruhullah Khapalwak and David Rhode (New York Times): “A look at America’s new hope: The Afghan tribes

- Greg Bruno (Council on Foreign Relations): “Al Qaeda’s financial pressures

- Ron Moreau (Newsweek): “Taliban fighters can’t be bought off” 

- Katie Drummond (Wired): “Paging James Cameron: Pentagon wants 3-D surveillance

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