‘NCIS’ as a Training Guide: Report Finds Fault in 15-year Afghan Assistance Mission by Phillip Wellman - Stars & Stripes
TV shows used as training guides and “cut-and-paste activities” were among the flaws found by a U.S. government watchdog report as it examined why Afghanistan’s forces are unable to secure the country after 15 years of international assistance.
The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction’s latest report on Afghanistan’s security forces described a U.S. effort that for too many years either had the wrong mix of advisers or implemented strategies from other nations that didn’t fit Afghanistan.
SIGAR particularly criticized community-policing training for 100,000 Afghan police officers, which was performed by U.S. Army advisers, infantry officers and, in at least one case, an Army helicopter pilot. This militarized the force and resulted in an ongoing “identity crisis” within the Afghan National Police, SIGAR said.
“One U.S. officer watched TV shows like ‘Cops’ and ‘NCIS’ to learn what he should teach,” SIGAR director John F. Sopko said, while speaking at a gathering in Washington on Thursday.
The report said the U.S. training effort was ill-prepared from the outset, failing “to understand the complexities of the mission,” and highlighted early U.S. partnerships with independent militias and politically constrained deadlines by Washington as undermining factors…