Peacekeeping: Afghan Cops Get An Upgrade

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March 24,2008: The U.S. has convinced the Afghan government that the traditional Afghan approach to policing won't work. In the past, cops were poorly paid, and recruited more as a make-work program, than as an attempt to get the best qualified people. These cops were used more as a paramilitary militia, to enforce the will of the provincial government, than to serve and protect the population. The new program will recruit more carefully, pay more, and train the new police to do traditional policing (keep the peace and protect the people.) The new program will be implemented in a few of the more troublesome (Taliban ridden) districts of southern Afghanistan. If it works, the program will take a generation or two to implement throughout the rest of the country. And that's only if the government comes up with the money, and maintains the independence and honesty of the new force. That's a long shot.

The problems in Afghanistan are common in poor and undeveloped nations. Policing, in the Western sense, is a relatively new concept, and has been around for only about a century.

 


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