Well, a reader sent in links to Youtube videos showing what training our "allies" actually looks like:
And just in case you suspected the first one was rigged, here's the Afghans:
That's right. Our newly trained local peace-keeping force is the stuff Special Ed PE is made of.
The Afghans' trouble with the symmetrical nature of jumping jacks may be related to the asymmetrical nature of South Asian choreography, as seen in all those Bollywood movies, where the main dance step is, as the American fellow in "Bride and Prejudice" complains: "You screw in the light bulb with one hand and pat the dog on the head with the other."
It reminds me of the first scene in "The Man Who Would Be King," where Sean Connery and Michael Caine try to teach military drill to the inept Kafiristani villagers:
Daniel Dravot: You are going to become soldiers. A soldier does not think. He only obeys. Do you really think that if a soldier thought twice he'd give his life for queen and country? Not bloody likely.
We're always hearing about how "They hate us for our freedom," but, perhaps, one reason why we enjoy more freedom than Middle Easterners do is because we're more cooperative, less individualistic, less prone to do our own thing than Iraqis and Afghans?
UPDATE: Here are Afghan trainees doing pushups: