Washington: The number of American military
trainers in Afghanistan will increase by 800 by next March, a jump of nearly 25 per cent in the US commitment there, the top
commander in charge of training has said.
Lt Gen William Caldwell, who heads NATO`s training mission in Afghanistan, told reporters yesterday that even as the number of combat troops begins to drop, more trainers are needed.
Afghan security forces are slated to take the lead in their country`s security by the end of 2014, when
international combat troops are scheduled to leave.
There have been ongoing concerns about the pace and
effectiveness of the Afghan training, as commanders deal with
persistent attrition problems, high illiteracy rates, low pay
and difficult working conditions.
But over the past week, US defense officials have
expressed optimism that the ragtag Afghan forces are
improving, including a steady increase in their ability to
At the same time, there have been recurring problems with
members of the Afghan Army or police turning against coalition
Lt Gen Robert Neller, director of operations for the Joint
Chiefs of Staff, told Congress last week that the problem is
not always Taliban related.
At times it can be triggered by stress or other working
conditions. He said there has been an increasing effort to
screen out potential threats, through an eight-step process
that includes biometrics, references and other testing.