Cracking the Whip

By Sebastian Sprenger / October 7, 2009 at 5:00 AM

One of the ways to accelerate the growth of the Afghan National Security Forces is to simply extend the recruits' training days. That is one of the recommendations from the former head of the Iraqi army training effort that Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the head of NATO forces in Afghanistan, chose to include in his Aug. 30 Afghanistan assessment to Pentagon leaders.

But along with introducing perhaps 60- or 72-hour work weeks, the mindset in the corridors of Kabul's ministries must change, retired Army Lt. Gen. James Dubik argued in a July 16 memo to McChrystal.

"Given what our nation has already invested in blood and treasure and how that investment has and is growing, I believe a full-court, strategic press is necessary in two areas," Dubik's memo states.

"Part of the 'growth' necessary in the Afghan ministries concerns understanding that they will have to begin to carry out more of the financial burden -- within the ((country's)) actual means. All cannot come from the donor coffers much longer. This will be a huge psychological shift. At the right time over the next year, we should consider beginning to develop small steps in this regard to overcome the current inertia and build a foundation for the future."

Dubik also called for "increased intensity" within Afghanistan's security ministries and training centers. The Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan "is not in a 'business as usual' position, yet I sense some of our Afghan partners are," he wrote.

As for police forces training, in particular, Dubik recommended the creation of one or more Kabul Police Academy "extension colleges" to help generate graduates more quickly.