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

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