Training suspended for new Afghan recruits until troops rechecked for insurgency ties

Kabul, Sept. 2 (ANI): The senior commander for Special Operations forces in Afghanistan has suspended training for all new Afghan recruits until the more than 27,000 Afghan troops working under his command can be re-checked for ties to the insurgency.

The move comes as NATO officials struggle to curtail the surge of attacks on NATO forces by their Afghan colleagues, reports the Washington Post.

The attacks, which have killed 45 troops this year, have forced NATO officials to realise that many of the incidents might have been prevented if existing security measures had been applied correctly.

Special Operations officials said the current process for vetting recruits is effective but that a lack of follow-up has allowed Afghan troops who fell under the influence of the insurgency or grew disillusioned with the Afghan government to remain in the force.

The move last week by the Special Operations Command to suspend the training of new recruits followed the August 17 shooting of two American Special Forces members by a new Afghan Local Police recruit at a small outpost in western Afghanistan.

The local police initiative allocates Special Forces teams in remote villages where they work with Afghan elders and government officials to help villagers defend themselves against insurgent attacks and intimidation.

U.S. officials have touted the program as a critical way to spread security and the influence of the Afghan government to remote areas of the country where the Taliban have found haven.

Afghan officials, working with U.S. Special Operations troops, have revetted about 1,100 Afghan local police officers and removed five policemen from the program. They are also in the process of vetting 8,000 Afghan commandos and 3,000 Afghan army Special Forces soldiers who are fighting alongside American Special Operations troops throughout the country.

Special Operations officials said that they anticipate it will take about two months to rescreen all of the Afghan forces and that the training of new recruits could be stalled for at least a month. (ANI)