DEVELOPING AFGHAN ARMY LEADERSHIP WITHOUT VO
Independent Films, Documentaries, Politics
The Command and Staff College in Kabul offers the chance for Afghan army officers to do develop their skills. Students can chose to follow a variety of courses which run for up to eight months. French, Canadian and Turkish soldiers work at the site as mentors for the army leadership.
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Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts
Brassed up, suited and booted.
This is the site where Afghan army officers of all ranks, come to brush up their skills and learn new ones.
Col Mohammed Jabir works in logistics for the army’s Chief of Staff. He’s been undertaking a course in war strategy.
“We’re two hundred and forty people in this college. Each of us will be teachers and we’re going to teach what we learnt to our junior officers. ”
The French have been involved in mentoring at the Command and Staff College since it opened eight years ago. The Canadians and Turkish advise here too.
All the tutoring is done by Afghans.
“Our instructor provide the subject and they teach them but if we need some help we ask from our coalition mentors.”
“There are still some things where they need some support like organisation and the way they can work as staff and not, you know, not reporting everything to the commander. That’s where they can still progress is to working as a team rather than individually.”
One of the main problems in the past with the Afghan army was that its make-up didn’t proportionally represent the population. Army recruiters found it hard to attract Pashtuns, the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan from where the Taliban originate.
Nowadays, numbers are evening out.
These officers are off to India to see how its army deals with a similar issue.
“As we learnt in our strategy studies, one person in every thousand is in the army. It is like that. It’s a country with many different religions and sects.
How do they manage to bring people from different religions and with different languages under one umbrella?”
There have been a number of incidents recently of Afghan security forces turning weapons on their ISAF mentors. The French have been reviewing security at the college to make sure they have no such attacks there.
“One individual has mis-used the uniform in the name of the ANA and it has caused sadness for us. It’s a regret that with all the help and cooperation our friends provide us, such incidents happen.”
Afghan officers can study here for up to 8 months, depending on their course. Some graduate and go on to be commanders of companies, regiments and battalions.
It’s not part of the curriculum at the college but when the French get down time, they like to teach the Afghans about one of history’s greatest military leaders, of course, Napoleon.
Mel Preen in Afghanistan for the NATO Channel.
Year of Production: 2012