Border Police Kill 27 Taliban in Afghanistan; US Mil. concludes Afghanistan is not Like Iraq

Afghan border police say they killed 27 Taliban fighters in Khost Province.

If the Afghan security forces were that good, however, then they wouldn’t have allowed several captives in a prison, including several Taliban commanders, escape.

This is the level of efficiency President Obama can expect from his Afghan partners if he, as expected, does announce an escalation of troop levels on Tuesday.

US troops are finding that Afghanistan is a far, far more challenging situation than that in Iraq, in part because of the vastness and cragginess of the geography.

Meanwhile, the ethnic mix of Afghanistan’s National Army is less than ideal for the purposes of national reconciliation. Gareth Porter writes:

‘ The latest report of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, issued Oct. 30, shows that Tajiks, which represent 25 percent of the population, now account for 41 percent of all ANA troops who have been trained, and that only 30 percent of the ANA trainees are now Pashtuns.’

The new figures are less promising than older ones that had suggested that Pashtuns were 40% of troops (about their proportion in the population). Now it seems they are just a third of the troops. To have a Tajik army patrolling and searching Pashtuns could be a bad scene. So too would be a Pashtun denial of the legitimacy of the Afghan National Army.

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