Murphy's Law: Disappearing In America


July 2, 2010: Over the last month, there were numerous media stories about the how 17 Afghan military personnel had disappeared from a U.S. Air Force language school (where the Afghans learned enough English so they could attend U.S. military training courses.) The media coverage implied that some of these guys could be terrorists, who joined the Afghan military, qualified for training in the United States, and then disappeared once you got there, so they could carry out attacks.

American immigration officials soon reported that they had tracked down at least eleven of the missing Afghans, using Facebook. These men had gone to Canada, using the military ID the U.S. provided them while in the United States. It's easier to claim asylum in Canada, a fact widely known in Afghanistan (and often exploited by those leaving the country for a better life in the West.) U.S. officials believe they have located all but two or three of the missing seventeen Afghans, and expect to track down the rest soon.

Most of the missing Afghans made no effort to hide their identity, and left an easily traceable trail via the Internet, friends and family. Several did reveal a fondness for Islamic radicalism, which will make it difficult for them to obtain asylum anywhere in North America. This naïve and feckless attitude is all too common in Afghanistan, and a major reason why it has been so difficult to recruit and train a reliable and competent security force.



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