The vaunted Afghan army, pride of American and European trainers, saw one of its trainees attack its trainers today. The NYT says it is the result of deep animosity and disrespect. That may well be a cause but there is frustration too, about the future or the mission. I commented upon this before. All are tired of the grind.
The US wants a central government controlling an army which in turn controls the territory. It is a standard Westphalian model. More than once the US has laughed making a confederation of Afghanistan such as Switzerland. But that would actually work better. A US-supplied, non-Pashtun army is only a recipe for harsh civil war later.
My point today is to forget a national army there. Focus upon a national. professional police. Have the army protect them. Yes there is also jealousy and animosity between them. There are simple ways to solve that.
But the police are the key to a transformed nation...a strong police and courts that will effectively enforce civil laws. But a revived police is a opportunity for a different outcome.
The Taliban? Yes they represent a large constituency, clarified all the more by US support for the non-Pashtuns and Kabul.
Giving out money, toys and other goodies does not change anything long term.
A solid Police. No other long term strategy has a chance.