Afghan police recruits’ training halted after attacks on ISAF soldiers

Afghan Local Police, ALP, in Uruzgan province south west of Kabul, April 24, 2011

From the BBC:  The US says it is suspending training for new recruits to the Afghan local police (ALP) while checks are carried out on possible ties to the Taliban.

The move follows a series of incidents in which foreign troops have been killed by Afghan soldiers or policemen.

The suspension of training – which only applies to new ALP recruits – will allow US special operations forces to "re-vet" current ALP forces.

US special forces currently have around 1,000 Afghan local police trainees.

"While we have full trust and confidence in our Afghan partners, we believe this is a necessary step to validate our vetting process and ensure the quality indicative of Afghan local police," Col Thomas Collins, spokesperson for US forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement.

The suspension of training would be "temporary", according to Col Collins, adding: "Despite the recent rise in insider attacks, they are relatively rare among SOF [Special Operations Forces]-partnered forces."

An existing eight-step vetting programme will be made more rigorous, officials say.

The number of counter-intelligence teams will be increased and there will be greater vetting when Afghan soldiers return from leave. . . .

There are currently 16,380 members of the ALP.

The Afghan army and national police, trained by Nato, are unaffected by the suspension. The training of Afghan special forces will also continue.

On average, 7,000 Afghan soldiers and 3,700 Afghan police graduate from training every month.  (photo: Kamran Jebreili/AP)

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