The Guardian (UK) has done a video report on how U.S. soldiers feel about the Afghan soldiers they are tasked with building into an army. The piece hints at a broader reality: it is a bit difficult to build a national military on another nation’s behalf.
Supervising Afghan soldier to reporter (translated):
This army is really upsetting me now. In fact, you can’t really call it an army at all. I’m just losing interest in it. But what can we do?
They’ve recruited totally the wrong kind of men. They are all stupid and ignorant. These young men are a bunch of delinquents. They are only here because they’ve been driven out of their villages for misbehaving.
U.S. soldier’s lecture to supervising Afghan soldier:
You have to figure out what motivates your soldiers. You need to get that sense of nationalism, that Afghanistan can be a good country that will play on a global scale with all the other countries, that can stand up to Pakistan, that can stand up to Iran and be the Afghanistan of history.
U.S. soldier to reporter, contrasting the Afghan and Taliban armies:
You know, when you look at the enemy, they have performance-based promotions where if they do a good job they get promoted … and you kind of have to respect that in a way.