Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I am not sure if this police car impresses me in the attention to detail the police paid to it or....
makes me laugh - or both.
We are out here trying to build an Afghan National Security Force. There are many successes and many failures, but one thing that stares you in the face every day is that the culture here is not all that similar to that in the US.
For example, we issued enough pistols to the Ministry of Interior for every policeman to carry one in the country. One thing we overlooked is that here, only the officers in the organization carry pistols. Regular police carry AK47s. So, in most of the arms rooms I have inspected, boxes of unissued pistols are stacked to the ceiling.
There are many issues with training the police. In my opinion, the biggest is that it is hard for active duty military people to do. It requires a different mind set, an understanding of different culture not just of another country but another service and way of life. Infantrymen are not good policemen.
The funny thing is that the National Guardsmen from the US are much better at this than the regular army guys. They have the experience of performing a very wide variety of jobs that they aren't trained for and so are much more adaptable and flexible. We need more of them as mentors.
And the guy who decorated this truck for the police. We need many more of him.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps the police car represents some Afghan entrepeneurism in the works. During duty hours the policeman carries out his official duties with the help of the vehicle. During non-duty hours the off-duty policeman can earn extra money by carrying passengers, since his vehicle bears a strong resemblence to the colorfully and ornately decorated jeepneys found in the Philippines, and probably in other countries, too.