March 22nd, 2010
08:06 PM ET

Around the Web: Afghan police force ‘a disaster,’ report says

The U.S. has spent billions in Afghanistan to build up its police force but has little to show for it, report Mark Hosenball and Ron Moreau of Newsweek, and T. Christian Miller of ProPublica.

“America has spent more than $6 billion since 2002 in an effort to create an effective Afghan police force, buying weapons, building police academies, and hiring defense contractors to train the recruits—but the program has been a disaster,” they write.

“More than $322 million worth of invoices for police training were approved even though the funds were poorly accounted for, according to a government audit, and fewer than 12 percent of the country's police units are capable of operating on their own.”

David S. Cloud and Julian E. Barnes of the Los Angeles Times report, citing senior U.S. officials, that the “White House is considering whether to detain international terrorism suspects at a U.S. military base in Afghanistan.”

"The idea, which would require approval by President Obama, already has drawn resistance from within the government. Army Gen. Stanley A. McCrystal, the top commander of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan, and other senior officials strongly oppose it, fearing that expansion of the U.S. detention facility at Bagram air base could make the job of stabilizing the country even tougher."

Some other news stories and perspectives:

- Tim McGirk (Time): “How Pakistani help gets in Karzai's way

- Jane Perlez (New York Times): “Army chief driving Pakistan’s agenda for talks

- Jeff Stein (Washington Post): “Ex-spies still agitated over CIA's Afghan losses

- BBC: “Pakistan seeks court backing to probe scientist A.Q. Khan

soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. James -- Atlanta

    Hello!! Is there any shock here?

    March 23, 2010 at 8:04 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Elizabeth

    Has it slipped our minds that a prison break occured in 2008 in Kandahar? One well placed bomb...was all it took. Now we're releasing Taliban and insurgents right back into Southern Afghanistan? A month after clearing Marjah, (which is still in active combat zone) and we're considering– with a non existant ANA and ANP (whatcha shooting at Hoss?) building another prison for detainees? This is proof positive we're not engaging Military Minds, but engaging in an endless humanitarian effort. Nothing wrong with Humanitarian efforts; just let Humanitarian Agencies handle these efforts. (oh, yeah, they moved out) And bring our troops Home so that we can protect THIS land, this country from terror on OUR soil. I'm for one, appalled by the lack of current accurate media coverage, the secrecy, and Most Importantly~ the daily death toll. Not to mention the apathy and ignorance of the American people. Trillions of dollars spent thus far. Nothing but loss of life to show for our efforts. I cannot imagine how our troops are able to maintain morale under these apalling circumstances.

    March 23, 2010 at 1:15 am | Report abuse |
  3. A. Smith, Oregon

    It's a good thing that the horrific Republican led administration of Bush-Cheney gutted domestic spending funds, public schools and higher educational grants so the US Military had hundreds of Billions of taxpayer dollars to throw away hiring former Taliban fighters to place into the Afghanistan Police force. Needless to say, you can't buy good help!

    Meanwhile millions of unemployed American taxpayers are on the hook for pouring hundreds of Billions of taxpayer dollars overseas instead of domestic spending, and creating full and part-time jobs here in America.

    March 23, 2010 at 12:32 am | Report abuse |
  4. joseph

    will power to serve the people that is ,missing selfishness ican every people in this country afghans they dont love thier country, that we need to leave this country let them find thier own direction plant what they want to plant , just spend the money on killing the terrorist, let them embrace their religion w/c is a killer religion

    March 23, 2010 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  5. Daniel

    Since the right-wing thugs in Washington consider the Afghan police force far more important than the poor people of this country,they'll give them all the money they need and then some.

    March 22, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |