Policing under threat of suicide bombers and IEDs
CNN/David Ariosto
August 17th, 2011
04:02 PM ET

Policing under threat of suicide bombers and IEDs

By CNN's David Ariosto in Kabul, Afghanistan

A pair of Oakley sunglasses wrap around the face of an Afghan police officer riding atop a well-armed patrol - perhaps among the more anecdotal indications of western influence in this central Asian capital.

His mirrored lenses reflect the back-end of a Ford Ranger pick-up truck, painted army green.

The two-truck convoy is packed with more than two dozen of his heavily armed comrades, a scantly-used term that smacks of Soviet influence that once bore down on this region.

The officers circle the city, reinforcing checkpoints that comprise what authorities have dubbed the "Ring of Steel," perhaps a term meant to inspire a sense of confidence within Kabul's inner capital.

But his job description is an unenviable one:  patrol the city, keep it safe and watch for suicide bombers.

"If you see a suicide attacker, you should try to arrest him," said Mohammad Ghalam, a police officer operating a nearby check-point. "But if you can't, you'll have to kill him quickly."

While the outside observer might consider that statement somewhat contradictory, Ghalam's words aptly reflect the duality of working as a civilian officer in a time of war.

Police trucks in the capital are commonly equipped with heavy machine guns. Those who man them - or even just sit behind the big guns - wear body armor, sling automatic weapons and are often clad in multi-pocketed apparel used to stuff spare cartridges.

Suicide attacks, gun-battles and roadside bombs are their daily threats.

"I think our biggest challenge comes from the VIPs who drive up (to police checkpoints)," said Ghalam. "They never want to have their vehicle searched." 

Yet, amid the range of their responsibilities, Afghan cops are also plagued by corruption, mismanagement and murky allegiances, which have long raised questions about their abilities in the absence of NATO.

Like most issues in Afghanistan, it's difficult to offer any singular or overarching review of police in a country that is perhaps more defined by its provincial and tribal ties than it is by the confines of its national boundaries.

But in April, the U.S. government tried.

A report from the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said that despite heavy investment and training of Afghan police - much of it provided by the United States - it was still impossible to say how many police were on the job or whether the right people were being paid.

Earlier this year, a Pentagon report noted that none of the country's 203 police units were deemed able to operate independently - i.e., without NATO assistance.

Still, America aims to put 134,000 Afghan police officers on the street by this fall, according to the U.S. Defense Department.

That's no easy task, given that combat and weapons training must also share space with another and slightly unusual lesson: Reading classes.

The literacy rate for incoming recruits - Afghan soldiers and police officers - is roughly 14%, said Jack Kem, deputy to the NATO Training Mission.

That means "86% of our recruits are unable to read and write at the third-grade level," he said in May, according to a DOD statement. "This has been an enormous challenge."

And yet the challenges are not exclusively Afghan-based.

An U.S. audit report released Monday blamed poor coordination and a lack of oversight on the U.S. government during the process of switching control of Afghan police training between the departments of State and Defense.

It also blamed a U.S. contractor for failing to have "428 of the 728 required personnel in place within the 120-day transition period."

That shortage has "placed the overall mission at risk," it said.

Meanwhile, 10,000 U.S. soldiers are scheduled to depart Afghanistan by year's end, with the United States marking a decade of war in October.

The full draw-down and transfer of security is set for the end of 2014.


Filed under: Security Brief
soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. Ralph in Orange Park, FL

    Afghanization is not going well.

    August 18, 2011 at 8:26 am | Reply
  2. canadafirstaid

    The main idea(s) is being lost here. The difference between the police role and military role is; police try to identify those who are suspect of committing crimes and bring them before the courts who say if they (criminals) are guilty or not. O.K. so far? The military's role is simply; identify the enemy and destroy the enemy!! The police in many 3rd. world countries have more of a military role not a true (to definition) police role; i.e. in the true, true sense of the word. CFA

    August 18, 2011 at 7:40 am | Reply
    • markjuliansmith

      You are assuming function exists outside of societal norms. Where as the nature of the function is defined in process and outcome by them. So if you have a function however nicely defined externally it will only work as such if it fits into the community space within which the function exists – it serves the individual and community perceived needs at a point in time. Fact is military action at times necessarily is a police action in that the point is not to destroy but any number of of alternatives which enable success under the heading something is better than nothing. Given the nature of Afghanistan where 'police' are targets as are the 'military' one could say they indeed are a part of a military response.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:35 am | Reply
  3. NoTags

    Don't waste one more nickel or one more drop of American blood in this hell hole Country. Get out NOW!

    August 18, 2011 at 6:21 am | Reply
  4. markjuliansmith

    literacy rate – Afghan soldiers and police officers – is roughly 14%, Heretic rate – is roughly 14%. In line with Medieval Stats.

    August 18, 2011 at 5:44 am | Reply
  5. LT Wolfkiel

    As stated in the Joint Audit by the Inspector’s General of Department of State and Department of Defense on Afghan National Police Training Program: Lessons Learned during the Transition of Contract Administration, the contractor was short 438 of the required 728 contractors. However, it bears noting that NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan covered a large portion of this shortfall by extending an existing training contract, requesting additional personnel from NATO allies, and retasking NTM-A personnel who were already in theatre bringing the total number of trainers to 538. As noted on page 15 of the report, no training days were missed as a result of this shortfall. Also, the contractor received a 54% reduction in their award fee because of the manning shortfall. In short, training continued on schedule, and the contractor was not paid for services which were not rendered.

    August 18, 2011 at 4:01 am | Reply
    • The rest of the story...

      Ahh, but actually giving a full picture of the successes over there doesn't make good press now, does it? Having been assigned to NTM-A recently and working closely with the ANP and the training mission, I can tell you that this is one of the GOOD news stories, not something to spin and make look like it's failing. They rather neglected to mention the point that seven provinces are shifting to Afghan-led policing this year, or that the police force is in it's infancy, or that despite being major targets (three provincial chiefs of police out of 34 were killed while I was there), these guys go out every day and try to make their country a better, safer one for their children. Literacy is an issue in Afghanistan, period – not because the people are stupid or don't value it, but because the Soviets and then the Taliban tore their school system apart – an uneducated populace is an easy one to subjugate. Anyone who sees the THOUSANDS of children, boys and girls, coming and going from school in Kabul knows that they are working to correct this for the next generation.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:36 am | Reply
  6. Jackass

    These people can't stand on their own, and Obama wants to abandon them? Typical of a democrat.

    August 18, 2011 at 12:50 am | Reply
    • markjuliansmith

      Apathy to anothers condition however diabolical appears to be the nature of all humanity even your good self.

      August 18, 2011 at 1:46 am | Reply
    • nighttalk

      Jackass...you seem to feel...judging from your comment that we are responsible for these inbred muslims learning their abc's...and staying to help them police this sh**h*** country...this place...again in my opinion should have been turned into a glass parking lot from the gitgo...desert them?...hell, my only problem with Obama's withdrawl plan is that it will take a couple more years to get our troops out of there...my thought...considering the way they inbreds feel about us...is this...line up heavy transport planes...one after another...land one...load our people...lift off...bring them home...next plane...load and take off...etc...2014 my ass!...withdrawl should take a couple months tops!...dump a couple loads of of prayer rugs...(made in China of course)...a couple loads of Oakley sunglasses ...and a note saying.."you pricks are lucky you aren't patrolling in South L.A. or S.E. Cleveland...there, you would really see what being a cop is all about...we shoot over here...and they would steal your sunglasses too"...oh, and our animals can read and write...well, for the most part anyway...

      August 18, 2011 at 6:37 am | Reply
    • The rest of the story...

      No one is abandoning them – there is a clearly laid out transition plan and intensive training, advising, and partnership going on. However, when these "reporters" go in and spend an afternoon driving around a limited area and asking off-point questions, the reality of the mission over there doesn't exactly get conveyed to the public. Afghan security forces are partnering on coalition missions – case in point the 9 ANA soldiers killed with our troops when the Chinook went down. Seven provinces (of 34) are transitioning to an Afghan security lead this year, with more scheduled for next year. While "combat" troops are decreasing, advisors and trainers are increasing, and the national community is supporting and involved as well.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:42 am | Reply
  7. markjuliansmith

    One has only to reflect on Indonesia a so called Democratic Society:

    With Islam as a Foundation Text for Society as with Christianity in the Middles ages one does not only have grave concerns about Police but the whole idea of what is ‘Justice’ under a Religion of Certainty judicial system:

    Indonesian Police:
    In Indonesia a video showed Indonesian police officers standing by as fellow villagers descended on a house where a number of Ahmadis (Islamic religious sect) were staying, beating several men and mutilating the bodies of the dead.

    Indonesian Prosecutors and Judges:
    Prosecutors did not pursue murder charges, instead charging the 12 with crimes like incitement, assault and torture. They sought sentences of five to seven months, and the judges in the case chose even lighter sentences, saying that the Ahmadiyya adherents had caused the episode.

    Clearly Democratic Societies, if they are to be such, require constitutions which exclude Religion of Certainty as an influence of Foundation Ethics. Religions must not be enabled in anyway which allows them to have new citizens believe Religious Text containing any attack against Other is true. Remove the Foundation Text against Other or the Terror against Other continues.

    Freedom of Religion must be reviewed for text against Other – Otherphobia contained in these Religious texts are akin to having a cocked loaded gun on the kitchen table – as history shows it will be used.

    The absurdity is Religion in no way seeks to enable the independence of Other – the nature of women’s place is not the only example as the above shows – Other can be anyone perceived to be ‘different’.

    Foundation Text=Ethics=Ideas=Motivation=Actions For and Against Other

    August 17, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Reply
    • Yakobi

      You need to correct your fact before spewing your hinduism (ignorance) about Muslims and Islam, Ahamdi? non sense call them what they rally are, hindus (imposter's) follower of Persian hindu (pagan) dared to hind (pervert) teachings of Islam under protection of hindu (christian) British. Hindus (Qadiani) have no place in Islam and they need to learn to enjoy freedom provided by Muslims in generosity than try to convert people to their hinduism (absurdity) by financial help to poors.

      August 17, 2011 at 9:38 pm | Reply
      • fukoppression

        great hate speech there... ya. Why can't people accept others, eh? So if someone has a different opinion than you, and criticizes these folk for killing other of a different belief, it must be because the guy is Hindu? So stupid and ignorant of you to attack another belief structure like that. All people who call for hate and oppression against other, especially based on nothing other than their own religious beliefs.

        August 17, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
      • markjuliansmith

        I am not a Hindu nor anything else other than what I am – in fact what I am saying regards Islam is applicicable to all Religions of Certainty be they Secular or Religious.

        The facts speak for themselves as do the many graves of those who have dared to be 'different'.

        Foundation Text=Ethics=Ideas=Motivation=Action For and Against Other

        “Decision theorists and cognitive scientists have recorded instances where individuals refuse to change their mental models even in the face of irrefutable evidence, because of the institutional support that their unsatisfactory mental models get from peers and society at large.”

        Hitler MEIN KAMPF

        "But a Jew can never be rescued from his fixed notions." etc

        Hitler’s views as to the nature of Other:

        falsehoods, cold-blooded, alien race, moral pestilence, evil spirits, tricks of logic, absurdity of their teaching, germ-carriers in poisoning human souls, etc

        Mohammed QURAN

        002.006 As to those who reject Faith, it is the same to them whether thou warn them or do not warn them; they will not believe. etc

        Mohammed’s views as to the nature of Other:

        God's curse is on them for their blasphemy, make mischief therein and shed blood, Be ye apes, perverse, evil-doers, do nothing but conjecture, Deaf, dumb, and blind, their hearts is a disease, etc

        Some of the many Genocidal Outcomes:
        Kristallnacht – Ninety-one Jews were killed etc

        The 2002 Indonesian Island of Bali bombings killing 202 people etc
        USCIRF Annual Report 2011 – The Commission's Watch List: Indonesia

        Refuse to change your mind but it makes no difference the truth remains.

        August 18, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  8. BusinessBob

    Gotta give it up for the American Forces they have put together an enormous army and police force for these guys with equipment and weapons. If the Afghan security forces have some heart nobody will stop them from securing there country.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Reply
  9. Lala Rukh

    U.S is just wasting money on this nation and after few years they will realize we are on fool.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  10. asdf

    Remember when the right was against nation building? Boy that all went away when they realized how easy it was to get no bid contracts during wartime.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:17 pm | Reply
  11. asdf

    How did winning in Afghanistan come to include building their broken nation? You cant force goat farmers that want you dead to modernize and after a few trillion maybe we will realize this.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  12. Carol

    I think that the whole country will implode just like Iraq is doing and all those lives lost will be all for not.

    We should have never ever gone into these countries because NOTHING will change and I mean NOTHING sad but true.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:11 pm | Reply
    • jimmy the freak

      You are exactly right. Get the flock out NOW!

      August 17, 2011 at 8:30 pm | Reply
  13. Alexander

    "America aims to put 134,000 Afghan police officers on the street"? Careful of your wording CNN–especially if you're headlining this, else the world will blame America for even more joblessness.

    August 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Reply
    • asdf

      Google the term Vietnamization. Karzai and his azzhat government won't even last as long as the South Vietnamese did. What a charlie foxtrot.

      August 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm | Reply
  14. Henry Miller

    The capabilities of the Afghan police are not a proper concern us the United States.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • independent mind

      yea its about time afghanistan adopted the american industrial prison complex

      August 17, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  15. usgiorgi

    Sadly, they will be bought out by the taliban and al qaeda.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • SimpleLogic

      Money does rule!!!! Government morality is DICTATED by it!

      August 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  16. jon

    Not our problem...

    August 17, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Reply
    • SimpleLogic

      Hey jon, remember the world trade centers?

      August 17, 2011 at 7:52 pm | Reply
    • SimpleLogic

      Morality is something that you TEACH!!! If you grow up without the concept of "it", you can't possibly teach it.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • asdf

      Hey Jon keep remembering the one event that allows the right to do whatever they want including keep America in a permanent state of war.

      August 17, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Reply
  17. Smokey

    People are making a major error in reasoning here. The motivation for attacking the Afghan police and army is that they are puppets or traitors according to their enemies, because they work with us. Without ISAF they may not have the logistical and air/artillery support they do now, but at the same time the motivation for attacking them – foreign presence – will be removed. This will lead to fewer attacks and make their jobs far, far easier. Taliban will not find it so easy getting fighters to attack their own countrymen when there is no foreign invader to rile folks up.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • wanren

      The Taliban and al qaeda are the largest foreign fghters, they are foreign invaders that have invaded Afghanistan that is why they have no hesitation to kill and murder Afghan civilians. For Afghan to survive and propser they need to get rid of their Islamic culture that has tied them down and prevented them from being propesrous, the taliban and al qaeda are making sure that Afghan remains islamic.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:57 pm | Reply
      • SimpleLogic

        REALLY wanren? It isn't their religion its the people that use that BLIND faith to rule that are the problem! MAKING "RELIGION" the real problem. Blind unproveable GARBAGE!!!!

        August 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
      • The rest of the story...

        While you are correct in that many of the "insurgents" in Aghanistan are from Pakistan or elsewhere, tarring Islam for the actions of its extremists is not productive. The full name of the country of Afghanistan is the "Islamic Republic of Afghanistan" – the Afghans are primarily Moslem and allow the finer moral points of the faith to govern their lives, much as Christians strive to live by the Commandments and the articles of their faith that make them better people. Extremism, no matter what faith it claims to represent, is a perverted view of the faith, and it is inaccurate to tar people who believe and strive to be better people in their faith with the same brush as those who lie, kill and commit atrocities and justify it with a perverted interpretation of faith.

        August 18, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • The rest of the story...

      Well said, although Karzai's government is seen as a puppet of the West by the Taliban, so while coalition withdrawal may make it harder to justify attacks on the ANSF, it may not decrease it as much as one might hope.

      August 18, 2011 at 9:55 am | Reply
  18. mm

    Up to it or not...let's get out of there and let those people police their own people.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  19. Pat Garrett

    Police academies in the US average 19 weeks and the graduates are on the street ready or not. How long have we been waiting for these guys to stand up so we can stand down?

    August 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm | Reply
    • The rest of the story...

      So shoving 134,000 people through a basic patrolman course all at once and then getting the heck out of there is really going to work? Think a little. Recruitment, training, leadership structure, logistics, facilities, transportation, pay systems, personnel systems... "Abracadabra" would be a nice solution, but reality is what it is.

      August 18, 2011 at 10:00 am | Reply
  20. CheekyIndian

    who is ready for bomb blasts and bullets from any corner any time? I guess no one....

    August 17, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  21. charles Beale

    This situation, like that of Iraq, Iran, etc., will never change. You cannot change a culture 'over night' by bombing the hell out it, then hope that lackies will pick up the ball and create a democratic society based on Western ideals. IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN and the sooner we all understand that the better we all will be. Look after the home-grown terrorists for a start.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Reply
    • SimpleLogic

      Really Chuck "lackies?" You know them?

      August 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Reply
  22. Babak from LA

    The real question is who cares? The treat will be there regardless but since this is their country they need to sacrifice for it . Why whould we loose any more American lives?

    August 17, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Reply
  23. combat vet

    Not all of them seem to be up to the task but during my last tour I worked with some really hardcore guys, guys that would charge the enemy in a heart beat.. Some of them don't get the respect they deserve.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:10 pm | Reply
    • Stephen

      Thank you. From an older vet.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Reply
    • Patrick

      It's the "murky allegiances" part that has me concerned. A lot of these guys would just as soon defect to the Taliban given half a chance – taking their their weapons and training with them.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Reply
      • The rest of the story...

        "Murky allegiances" typically refers to the shadow chain of command. The reality of Soviet occupation followed by Taliban rule means that many in government positions got their and survived there because of the patronage of a senior official. As time goes on, they may not be in that officials chain of command, but they still maintain loyalty to that person. Basic patronage – it's in our government too. In addition, there is added allegiances between the older Mujahadeen who fought the Soviets in the 70s and 80s and those who were part of the Soviet government and educated by them. Afghanistan has had a complicated history in the past 50 years – it's sad that the media acts as if only the past 10 or 20 have influenced this conflict and the people there.

        August 18, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Marine5484

      SHHHH.....your trying to speak logically and from experience.....your going to rile up the internet warriors and make their heads explode.

      August 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Reply
      • The rest of the story...

        🙂

        August 18, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • The rest of the story...

      A lot of them don't get the respect they deserve. I worked with and advised some extremely sharp officers whose courage, intelligence, and motivation was never in question. They often surprised us with their resourcefulness and ability to accomplish objectives quickly. And I still remember that it was the Afghan security forces who took down suicide bombers outside Camp Phoenix and in the Ministry of Defense.

      August 18, 2011 at 10:05 am | Reply
  24. Bob Ramos

    They have had over 10 years to be ready. If they are not ready now, they never will be. We have done enough harm. We have to pull out 100%. The people there can choose who they want or do not want.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  25. Stephen

    Afghanistan is SOOO Going to tear itself apart after we leave.

    August 17, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
    • Stephen

      Al-Sadar with all due respect. Be part of the solution. Quit sanctioning the killing of anybody. Let people work to better your country. Quit killing them, yes that include americans leading Construction efforts and Humanitarian Efforts.

      Condemn attacks! For your Muslim nation.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  26. Johnny

    I worry for those Afghans who put their lives on the line to provide security to their dismal and corrupt country. Their reward for loyalty and duty will be torture and death from the fanatics and corrupt politicians.

    Surely, wouldn't those brave men deserve a better life? Like how the British granted the Gurkhas citizenship for their service, shouldn't U.S do the same for those men who signed up to fight for them?

    August 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • Stephen

      Hate to say it, never asked myself that question.

      August 17, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Reply
    • The rest of the story...

      Special immigration visas...and yes, the US does offer them for those who risked their lives and that of their families to assist our mission.

      August 18, 2011 at 10:12 am | Reply
  27. lookingforfacts

    Of course these guys are not ready and never will be. But Obama will wait until just before elections, pull the troops and hope the country holds together for a few weeks.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
    • Henfr

      I worked for Nixon and Vietnam.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  28. Arman Yousafzai in Mingora,Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (NWFP)

    YOU YANKS ARE STUPID thinking you will win the war by invading occupying and killing civilians as you are creating more and more enemies everyday which will come back to bite you sooner or later.

    I HAVE THE SOLUTION TO THE AFGHAN WAR!!!!!

    ALL AFGHAN GIRLS SHOULD BE LIKE THIS SWATI GIRL....

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JfggTjKmUk&w=640&h=360]

    THE WAR WOULD BE OVER TOMORROW IF THEY COULD ALL BE LIKE HER!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:25 pm | Reply
    • Henfr

      I banged that chick. Gave me the clap.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Reply
    • Fatima Shabnam

      This is a Pakistani girl.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  29. Henfr

    You can't make ice cream out of cow manure.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • RM

      YES...The Indians can!!!!

      August 17, 2011 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  30. FASHION POLICE

    ARE THOSE DIESEL BRAND SUN GLASSES = STANDARD ISSUE = TAX PAYERS MONEY? OR POPPY MONEY? HUMM?

    August 17, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • MADE IN CHINA KNOCK OFF?

      THEY GOT THEIR BLOODY HANDS IN THERE ONE WAY OR ANOTHER.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
    • The rest of the story...

      Or $5 knock offs...

      August 18, 2011 at 10:13 am | Reply
  31. kestas

    Yes, I think people with big and deep pockets that have huge power forgot what a war really is. Oh yes the people who are in charge to send troops never served in the military. If your country is invaded, patriotism and proud to be killed by invader nothing will defeat it. Majority of Americans that are in the military fight for paycheck. Even the survey shows it. So as long as they fight because of money they won't go any further. When they will find a higher meaning in war, then they will win.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  32. Chris

    time to let the peeps o afgan just go at it...

    August 17, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  33. GlobalDip

    It is the biggest waste of money WHY They do not give a damm but even worse off you cant try to impose on any foreign country Rule of Law et. al principals when they dont even have a system. The same here as with the USD$900 million that we sent to the Afghan Central Bank and went missing.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • mullah dadullah

      us needs to shut the hell up and leave everyone alone

      August 17, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  34. bailoutsos

    Who gives a crap if they can handle the job? Get the live Americans out.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:14 pm | Reply
  35. epicjourney

    Get those corrupt police training contractors to bring in the number of trainers they contracted for and maybe the Afghans will stand a chance. Otherwise no. American Gov't and military is tolerant of too much corruption over there both by Afghan and American contractors.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  36. damon

    look at that chisled jaw! he's hot!

    August 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  37. airborne6

    Let us create some job at with that money. They have been fighting since day one. They will not stop now. Let them kill each other. This is the only, it will stop.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  38. bitnar

    But the dude in the photo has excellent bone structure.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  39. Stan

    this is like arming the prisoners from san quentin, are you FC,

    August 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  40. mike

    When did Americans become so weak and simple minded? Its a dangerous world out there filled with dangerous people. we should be in the middle east, right in the thick of things. You think if you leave milk and cookies on your porch for a burglar he will decide to not bruglarize your house and move on to your neighbors?? Of course he will. Liberal America please wake up before we all pay fo your wayward, backward, awkward thinking.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • SconnieGuz

      When has our job ever been to help the Afghan people? We were going to get OBL no matter what we had to do.....and we did. We've already put more than enough blood and treasure into this dump. Fukin BS to be there right now. They will throw off those police uniforms the day the last American leaves.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm | Reply
  41. bobthebuilder

    They will never be ready is right! Just bring our service members home.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • kutie

      NOPE!! They are not ready, I see it first-hand everyday....but I am ready to come home

      August 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm | Reply
      • kutie? REALLY?

        Or maybe you should just get out from behind your desk and off the FOB once in a while... I'm sure the guys in WWII were ready to come home by the end of 1941 too, but it's a military thing – we don't get to be home just because we'd rather be with our family and eating lunch at McDonalds.

        August 18, 2011 at 10:34 am |
  42. Bo

    Good grief – how did their corruption and shady problems become our problem ...? Get the troops out of there.. let them deal with their own problems – however the outcome may be.

    August 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Just a few towers getting destroyed, that's all...

      Maybe you remember, about 10 years back, a few kamikaze pilots flew really f'in big airplanes loaded with civilians into some really big buildings, also loaded with civilians? Kind of like Pearl Harbor, only the targets were primarily civilian and the death toll was higher? Yep, that would be why we care.

      August 18, 2011 at 10:40 am | Reply
  43. Jon

    What the USA fails to see is that once they leave the Afghans are going to go right back to what they had before. They have no drive to what is needed to not slip back into their old ways

    August 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Jon

      to do what*

      August 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
    • hez123

      I think many of the women in Afghanistan would NOT like to go back to the Taliban days. No education and little means to improve themselves. Some are fine with that but it greatly bothers me the gains they have received will be for naught. That said, I don't have a solution to this extremely difficult situation.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:32 pm | Reply
  44. Joe

    they are ready, they are a fearless people and will make a nation worthy of its people, I am proud to be an american and friend to the afghan people

    August 17, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • Kerry Bedford, TX

      I was there before the Russian invasion and I can attest that the people are wonderful. I wish them the best.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Reply
    • Sandy

      You living in delusional word. TALIBAN can take them out within WITHIN days. trust me americunt,.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
      • The rest of the story...

        The Taliban couldn't even launch their much-hyped "spring offensive" this year, and while they occasionally get a lucky shot in like the one that hit the Chinook, they still need to resort to brainwashing/training up 10-year-old Pakistani kids to strap on suicide vests since there aren't enough men left who support their cause to have much of an effect.

        August 18, 2011 at 10:23 am |
  45. ArizonaYankee

    Ready or not, they have a real challenge. Aside from fighting the corrupt Karzi, they have the Taliban, Al Quada, Pakistan, and Iran to deal with. That is the real handful. As for me, I now think we should get out and forget this islamic murderous cult. As for the oil loss, we have our own, but Obama and the Democrats are killing the drilling, so we could be in trouble.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Reply
    • coloneldewe

      You're so right.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:56 pm | Reply
    • So right??

      He's so RIGHT? OIL LOSS? Wrong conflict, buddy – Afghanistan is not an oil-rich country and we're not drilling there. At least you got the geography right, they are between Pakistan and Iran, but good lord, educate yourself a little, will you? Oh, sorry – I failed to notice that your post was just a thinly veiled cover for a bash on the President.

      August 18, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
  46. debra isaacs

    I new when gates quit!! the new dog in charge would push more war mongering. Pannetta is just a yes man to the billion aire boys club! Fund and fight for your own oil war!! start thinking about the USA, we have our own problems.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • Henfr

      I blame Obama and his oil business cronies.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  47. ricky sotelo

    TIME TO GET UP AND WALK ! YOU LEARNED HOW TO CRAWL SO GET UP AND TAKE CHARGE

    August 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  48. us1776

    No, Afghans are not ready. Nor will they ever be.

    It's time to bring an end to this Bush-fiasco of a war.

    Get out now !! Bring our troops home. And let the Afghans have their civil war and we stay out of it.

    .

    August 17, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  49. Not An American Problem

    Not an American problem. Not an American bill. So, who cares what some backwater bumpkins do or don't do in their third world dump of country. Their problem. Their bill.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  50. Steve Childers

    To Hardball,
    Insider says Berneke 'furious' over Perry remarks and 'will resign if Perry elected'.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • kestas

      So what? I think it is a compain trick against Ron Paul. In one way or the other way there will be the end of the fed, because US monetary system will collapse. So even if he will resign, no one, even Ron Paul won't be able to fix the mess that your country in.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
  51. Hasselhoff

    Too bad we're going to be in the Mid East for years to come since no president has the balls to pull out our troops. Thanks Bush!..

    August 17, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Reply
    • ArizonaYankee

      You forgot to mention Obama. Bush went in with US Congressional approval, and was in it to win. Not at all sure about your boy. I agree, we need to get out, and out of the entire middle east, but that is just my opinion.

      August 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Hasselhoff

      Well Bush could have gotten us out before he left office too. I'm not at all happy with Obama either so I'm blaming both. Obama is winding the troops down but it's not quick enough.

      August 17, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Reply
  52. John

    They couldn't guard a pay toilet, if they were the only ones with change.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  53. john

    Get busy with some American issues.

    August 17, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Reply

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