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Depression Sets In: Visiting Afghan Police

Writing from Afghanistan, Michael Fumento shares pointed and stunning observations while touring some Afghan Police outposts. As he puts it, it was A Depressing Day Visiting the Cops.

All the outposts were assigned an RPG and one had two of them, but again with almost no ammunition. "Last week the Taliban attacked and we fired two RPG 'bullets' at them," we were told, "so we have no more." ...

Each station had one 7.62 PK machine gun. These are inferior to the RBKs the Romanians use but at least they sometimes had a decent supply of ammo for them. I got the feeling that the PK was the one thing keeping the Taliban from overrunning the outposts. Yet, not being overrun seemed near the outer limits of what these outposts could do.

At one station they told us, "'We ask in the villages why are you helping the Taliban?' and then they say 'They take our sons and brothers' and there's nothing we can do.'" At another: "We see Taliban driving by on motorcycles but we don't have good weapons to shoot them." The outposts are intentionally positioned high on hilltops and while a PK might be able to hit a stationary target, it would take one heck of a lucky shot to pull off an "Easy Rider" shot from that hilltop in the day. At night it would be all the harder.

All the Romanians can say for now is, "We'll try to give you enough ammo and enough weapons." But for the time being it's a pipe dream, although it shouldn't be. Consider that an AK bullet might cost 10 cents. That's $3 a magazine. For a fifteen-man station, we could provide them each another magazine for $45. Meanwhile, we drop bombs that cost $27,000.

You'll want to read it all. Also note at the bottom, "Michael Fumento has paid for this trip entirely out of pocket, including roundtrip airfare to Kuwait, war insurance, and virtually all his gear." Some readers may wish to assist him and his initiative.


Almost Beyond Belief.
Despair sets in!

I am very sorry for what happened to those who lost their life because of an 'out of date' rubber bullet.I am sure the Romanians learned something from it

Ugh. I hate to say it but I'm not surprised.

A few issues at work here

It's a huge country that has almost nothing. We're starting from scratch in a way that exceeds even Afghanistan.

Where's the money to buy them what they need? One of the biggest failures of the Bush Administration has been to try and fight the GWOT on the cheap. But it's not just Bush; the Democrats and Europeans aren't helping either.

The Taliban are funded at least partially by drug money (poppies). Solving that problem is difficult. They also have a sanctuary in Waziristan /Pakistan.

It's a tough situation but more money for Afghan cops would seem a good start.