Afghan National Police penetrated by Taliban at ‘every level’

The Afghan National Police have been penetrated by the Taliban “at every level” with officers poorly trained, corrupt and some addicted to drugs, a former Army officer has said.

By Thomas Harding and James Kirkup
Telegraph [UK]
04 Nov 2009

Capt Doug Beattie, who served two tours in Afghanistan working with the ANP, said many police officers are in the paid of insurgents and were more loyal to their tribes than the Afghan government.

British officers say that among low-ranking Afghan police, and particularly in more rural areas away from central control, there is widespread corruption and disloyalty.

Parts of the ANP play an active role in helping the Taliban and drug warlords get opium and heroin onto the international market. The police are poorly paid and educated, earning about $200 a month, so are vulnerable to corruption.

More worryingly, a number are regular opium users and their addiction makes their behaviour unpredictable.

There has also been reports of police sexual abuse that has antagonised the local population.

Capt Beattie, who has retired from the Army, said: “It is absolutely right to say that the Afghan police are infiltrated by the Taliban at every level, from the very lowest to the very highest.”

The police officer who killed five British soldiers on Tuesday is understood to have been in the police for at least two years. That raises the possibility that he was paid to switch sides.

The article continues at the Telegraph.
Capt Beattie said that many police officers happily switch sides for money.

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