Stay Focused on Afghan Police Mission
Special to AFPS
in Afghanistan face daunting challenges in legitimizing the
Afghan police and turning them into an effective
counter-terrorist force, but perseverance and focus have served them well,
a Marine officer said.
“Probably the biggest challenge has been the size of our area of operations,” Marine
Corps Lt. Col. Richard D. Hall, commander of 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment,
said during a call with online journalists and military bloggers. “And
to answer how we’ve overcome that challenge, I summed it up in one word:
unit has responsibility for recruiting, training and mentoring
the Afghan National Police and turning them into a credible
force that the Afghan populace views as honest and capable.
want them to become a more proficient, respectable and legitimate
force, which is really an extension of the government on the
district level,” Hall said. Significant progress has
been made on the training mission, but full recognition by
Afghan citizens will take time, he added.
On a more
specific level, Hall said, the Marines face difficulties recruiting
the right blend of people to keep the force geographically
can’t always have the right amount of recruits out of
each district, so we have to recruit from other districts,” Hall
said. “When they go through the training and come back,
those ANP have an expectation that they are going to go back
to the district they came from, and sometimes we cannot do
an appropriate number of coalition and Afghan forces to counter
terrorists across a massive territory remains another challenge,
that more forces will be coming to extend security zones, as
well as to assume control of other districts, which will restrict
the enemy’s movement.
noted, “The solution isn’t going to be so much
the numbers of people that you bring in here. … It is
the effect on the people that we have in the context of doing
our mission, which is, I call it, turning four into 40.
bottom line is, we want to give these people liberty,” he
continued. “To create conditions where they can take
responsibility of their own affairs and provide for their own