February 14, 2013

Why the Afghan National Army is useless

Above is Sean Connery and Michael Caine training Afghan recruits in The Man Who Would Be King. (Thanks to snowpak for posting this on Youtube.)
Daniel Dravot: "Now listen to me, you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering, the world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to stand up and slaughter your enemies like civilized men."

But, training Afghans hasn't gone as well for the U.S. military as it did for Daniel and Peachey. Over the nearly dozen years American forces have been Nation Building in Afghanistan, we've seen funny videos of American military men trying to whip Afghan recruits into military or police shape with jumping jacks (first and second).

What's the problem?

Now, here's a Live Leaks video about how Afghan National Army volunteers are high on hashish practically all the time. But here's the fundamental explanation: An Afghan officer explains that his men are "all stupid and ignorant. They're all a bunch of delinquents. They're only here because they've been driven out of their villages for misbehaving."

19 comments:

RonMexico said...

They, the Afghans, could fit in with NBA posses.

Sid said...

You've heard of Hindu push ups. Chinese push ups. The dreaded Aztec push up. But the Afghan push up is perhaps the most intense push up variation found on earth:

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=8ThUxg1hrrU

Anonymous said...

Those push-ups are flawless compared to the jumping jacks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYFkmAVOeLY

Anonymous said...

"all stupid and ignorant. They're all a bunch of delinquents. They're only here because they've been driven out of their villages for misbehaving."

I wouldn't write them off, and that's the fact, jack!

Joseph Moroco said...

Cut and run sounds about right.

911 was an immigration error rather that a casus belli.

Of course, getting OBL made it all worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

When the first batch of vietnamese boat people arrived in our school in 79, they couldn't do jumping jacks in gym class and we laughed at them.

But Viets are a tough people.

Funny thing about Afghans. They were tough enough to fight the Soviets and 'resist' the Americans. But we can't mold them into our kinds of warriors.

When outside our control, they fight us with tenacity.
When inside our control, they defeat us with incompetence.

Anonymous said...

Did I mention the Kabul Bank frauds and the alleged involvement of government family members ?

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/2012/11/28/1285843/kabul-bank-of-fraud-and-airplane-food-trays/


"Hundreds of millions of dollars from Kabul Bank were spirited out of Afghanistan – some smuggled in airline food trays – to bank accounts in more than two dozen countries, according to an independent review released on Wednesday about massive fraud that led to the collapse of the nation’s largest financial institution [..]

The report describes Kabul Bank as a sophisticated operation with one set of books for the eyes of regulators and another in the back room that logged how those running the bank and others were fattening their wallets.

Loans were made, but rarely repaid. Borrowers took out loans to pay back loans. Company documents and financial statements were fabricated. The bank’s credit department used more than 100 corporate stamps for fake companies to make documents look authentic. The bank operated some of its more than 100 branches without a permit from the government."


Marlowe said...

To the Duke of Wellington, the British army comprised 'the scum of the earth' and every man in its ranks had enlisted because of drink. It beat Napoleon.

anony-mouse said...

Weren't taverns the preferred target of press gangs. Royal Navy did better in those days than now, no?

NOTA said...

Not to worry, I have every confidence that our tame Afghan allies will give us an ending every bit as happy as the one in that story.

Victor said...

"To the Duke of Wellington, the British army comprised 'the scum of the earth' and every man in its ranks had enlisted because of drink. It beat Napoleon."

I believe it was the Russians, the Prussians, and the Austrians who beat Napoleon. Hell, Wellington would have lost the Battle of Waterloo if Blucher hadn't showed up.

Anonymous said...

The Brits put together an empire upon which the sun never set on the basis of an army recruited mainly from the ranks of convicts and other ne'er-do-wells. Ultimately, the problem is PC - if we ran the place the way the Brits ran their colonies, we'd have an easier time putting together native fighting units worth their salt.

rob said...

anony-mouse said...
Weren't taverns the preferred target of press gangs. Royal Navy did better in those days than now, no?


hahaha. The sort of person who gets blind drunk and kidnapped or fooled into the Navy is probably smarter and more conscientious than the sort who joins when he's cold sober.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing, the Pashtuns made up a disproportionately high percentage of the colonial British Indian army, and are still overrepresented in the Pakistani army along with the Punjabis.

Anonymous said...

Afghans make good guerillas though.

jody said...

reminds me of full metal jacket.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VHKpGJX29s

"We are here to help the Vietnamese, because inside every gook there is an American trying to get out."

stanley kubrick nailed neocon doctrine all the way back in 1987.

GW bush and barack obama clearly believe that inside every afghani, is a heartland american from ohio yearning to break free.

Anonymous said...

Jody Said...

Stanly Kubrick nailed neocon doctrine all the way back in 1987.

GW bush and Barack Obama clearly believe that inside every Afghani, is a heartland American from Ohio yearning to break free.


Very well said Jody. Neocons and a great many other Americans believe this nonsense. Although WHY EXACTLY they believe this is much more difficult to logically explain. The truth is there are all kinds of ways to organize a human society, not just the American way. Actually it goes back at least to Woodrow Wilson in 1917, perhaps to 1898. Wilson thought all he had to do was get rid of the bad old Kaiser and make Germany a democracy and all would be well. But the German people had actually been quite content with the semi-authoritarian Bismarkian system of governance while it worked (until 1918) and the Weimar republic was marked only by unemployment and economic chaos. Jobs and political stability meant far more to German workers in the 1920's then did abstract Yankee concepts like "civil rights" which meant little to them. The Neocons are just old-fashioned Wilsonians, with a more ethno-centric ("Scots-Irish) agenda.

Matthew said...

"When outside our control, they fight us with tenacity."

Very easy when you have nothing better to do with your life. Civilized people tend to want to get war over with, because we have better things to do. For the uncivilized fighting is a way of life, because what else are they going to do?

Anonymous said...

I was deployed to Afghanistan with a US Marine Corps Infanrty unit from Nov 09 to May 10. Throughout that time I worked directly with the ANA (Afghan National Army). They were incompetent to the Nth degree. It was a daunting and futile task. Simply, the ANA is not capable of being trained.
They had no self supporting logistics of any kind. All their supplies, rifles, bullets, food, vehicles, fuel and so on and so forth were provied by the US. They didn't seem greatful.
The ANA routinely would:
* smoke hash, opiates, or marijuana while on patrol or on duty all whilst handeling firearms
* would steal or attempt to steal food and other items from Afghan civilians
*would leave post (remember, this wasn't Camp Cupcake, this was down range)
*would drag their weapons in the dirt while onpatrol
*listen to mp3 players on patrol
*make phone calls on patrol (maybe he really is calling his sick mother who has the flu; or maybe a Taliban scout to tell them we're on our way over?)
*had no weapons safty handeling or muzzle awareness
In short, I would have full confidence of a company size element of 16 and 17 year-old American high school kids who attend one of those goofy military high schools; they could, with minimum training, engage, overwhelm and over take any ANA post.

If the US pulls out of Afghanistan the ANA will collapse and the Taliban will rebound stronger than it was before 9/11.