Friday, December 11, 2009

Marines Try to Make Police out of Local Afghans

In accordance with President Obama’s new strategy in Afghanistan, the Marines have begun training Afghans to make up Afghanistan’s police force. The 13 trainees were sent by the Afghan government and were ordered to live and train with the Marines. They would accompany the Marines on explosive ordinance searches but were more of a hindrance than help. Most of the trainees would be joking around while to Marines were very tense and searching for buried bombs in a small remote town in southern Afghanistan. In the city of Khan Neshin of the Helmand Province, all the previous police member were fired because of failing a drug test and for stealing from the markets and bazaars. Unfortunately, these police have given the Afghan National Police a bad name in the city and the new police that are arriving have next to no training. There are a few new policemen that have received training at newly established police academies but the majority has not. This is where the Marines are called to come in. The Marines must help by training recruits that are not able to attend other Police academies. According to the 18-year old recruit, Mohamed Ullah, “I want to bring peace and security to my country.” The Marine’s began each training day with the basics of patrolling and searching for bombs, both on the ground and on people. In the style of warfare in Afghanistan, a lot of guidance is required from local people. A well trained police force of local people many help substantially with that cultural connection. The Lieutenant, Sayed Mohamed, of the recruits the Marines are training is the only one with any prior experience. He has been very effective in communicating with the local populous. He is also the only one that does not wear a bulletproof vest; this is to try to make him seem more accessible. “I tell the locals that we will change the behavior of the police,” Mohammed said. “I’m going to make a place in their hearts for me and my officers.” Click Here For the Full Story

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