NATO is increasing resources to try get Afghans ready to take over from security firms

An Afghan policeman, center, with two members of the Afghan Public Protection Force, June 9, 2011

From the AP:  NATO is pouring extra resources to set up an Afghan force to take over from private security firms after a report showed the Afghans are unlikely to be ready for the planned disbanding of private security companies in March, officials said Wednesday.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai ordered last year that security companies be disbanded because they were flouting Afghan laws and creating the equivalent of paramilitary forces.

But the process of shifting the guarding of convoys, development projects and the outside perimeters of NATO bases over to Afghan forces has been slow.

According to a U.S. government report released last month, the new force — called the Afghan Public Protection Force, or APPF — is short about 18,600 of the 25,000 guards needed to take over all the work currently performed by privately contracted guards.

Only about 615 guards have graduated from training programs, which were meant to turn out 500 guards every three weeks. The training programs have been hampered by a shortage of resources, insufficient infrastructure and health challenges, according to the report. . . .

The report concluded the APPF “is not on track to assume the responsibilities for security services” by the March 2012 target.  (photo: AP)

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