Saturday, November 13, 2010

On the usefulness of training...

"SEOUL, South Korea — Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Thursday he is reluctantly deploying military trainers to Afghanistan for three years because he doesn't want the past "sacrifices" of Canadian soldiers to be in vain.

"After several days of reports that the Conservative government was considering assigning nearly 1,000 soldiers to Afghanistan after Canada ends its military combat mission next year, the prime minister confirmed the plan."

The Windsor Star, November 11, 2010

“I haven't made a secret of the fact that I'd like to see all of our troops come home. That said, as we look at the facts on the ground, I think the reality is, there does need to be some additional training of Afghan forces. So we are looking at some training options for a smaller number of Canadian troops, but this would be a strictly non-combat mission.”

Norman Spector (quoting Stephen Harper), The Globe and Mail, November 11, 2010

"...that hope still burned, the myth that the problem with the ARVN was a lack of training; Americans had been training the Vietnamese army for a decade, and still held to the hope that more training was the solution..."

David Halberstam, The Best and The Brightest, Ballantine Books 1992, pg. 559-560

"Afghan National and Border Police

"By end-2010, a fully constituted, professional, functional and ethnically balanced Afghan National Police and Afghan Border Police with a combined force of up to 62,000will be able to meet the security needs of the country effectively and will be increasingly fiscally sustainable."

Afghanistan Compact, 2006

"FDD training was completed by 420 ANP in the key districts this quarter, for a total of 2,820 officers. Progress to date: Current ANP in the key districts total 2,588, of which approximately 50% have received FDD training against the 2008 target of 80%. Since 2008, however, 2,820 ANP members have received FDD training. Many have since been killed or wounded in action, left the ANP or moved elsewhere,highlighting the difficulties the ANP has faced in retaining numbers. Accordingly, while more ANP have been trained than was initially planned, training will continue in order to achieve the full 2008 target."

Details from Canada's Quarterly Report to Parliament to June 30, 2010 , page 16

The relevant excerpts from the Appendix are here.