Afghan Army Soldiers conduct a joint patrol with Canadian Soldiers in the Panjwayi district, southwest of Kandahar, in June 2010. Canadian troops are taking part in the efforts of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force to increase the capabilities of the Afghan Army. Building a credible Afghan Army is one of NATO’s main tasks in Afghanistan and a pillar of its exit strategy. This is particularly important because of the lack of midlevel officers with experience, reported Voice of America, or VOA.
The NATO training mission has been criticized for shortening basic Soldier training courses. However, mission leader Lt. Gen. William Caldwell dismissed the concerns, saying training continues. “If we’re not there with them, we’re not continuing their development, which is really important,” Caldwell told VOA.
Caldwell and his Afghan counterparts reported progress toward the goal of training 171,000 Afghan Soldiers by October 2010.