Thursday, February 18, 2010

Fast Times at Mujahideen High

As part of their Afghanistan exit strategy, the United States is strongly considering transforming a Mujahideen training course into one suited for the Taliban. The offer would see current Talibani fighters given an 8 week training course to enter into the Afghan Army. But the offer would only extend to Taliban with a little 't' which General McKiernan described as those fighters not ideologically motivated, i.e. accidental guerillas. The program resembles a current effort by the U.S. to beef up the Afghan Officer Corps with experienced personnel from the Soviet raised Afghan military of the '80s.
Should the deal be announced and negotiations actually occur, the Afghan army could see more seasoned fighters entering into the ranks. It would create less resistance in battle hardened areas and help ease up on security concerns. The latter would be more important in the long run as when NATO forces leave a town to Afghan security forces who need to be trusted as able.
Currently, NATO forces are engaged in Marjah located in Helmand Province. The offensive is hoped to last no more than 30 days according to British Commander of NATO forces Nick Carter, but more than 3 months could be needed to assess the security situation in the aftermath. NATO forces hope to continue a six month long sweep eastward toward Kandahar after the push through Marjah is completed. All of this is seen optimistically as the beginning of the end of securing Afghanistan; throw in a recruitment program for the Taliban and the odds of secure and stable Afghanistan could increase. Could.

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