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NATO mentors hope Afghan police academy graduates will regain public trust
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Hundreds of grinning Afghan police-academy graduates crowded like excited schoolboys into a dimly lit assembly hall Thursday for some words of encouragement before resuming their dangerous duties as keepers of the peace in a province racked by war.
Having completed an intensive eight weeks of basic training by largely American mentors, the officers - now known as members of the Afghan Uniformed Police - were being dispatched back to the Taliban heartland to work side by side with Canadian forces.
Formerly members of the oft-maligned Afghan National Police, it's the hope of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that they take with them a new sense of professionalism, responsibility and propriety - one that will restore the country's shattered confidence in its fledgling government.
"You are the future of Afghanistan," Brig.-Gen. Harm de Jonge, deputy commander for NATO troops in the segment of the country known in military circles as Regional Command South, told graduates.
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One of the biggest challenges for NATO is going to be ensuring that this police force starts to receive and continues to receive the full pay they are entitled to.
Corupt senior officials skimming their "tax" off the top of each payroll is going to ensure one and only one thing.... the junior policement will become corupt...
Have we (NATO) created a mechanism that will ensure that this Uniformed Police will get ALL the pay they are entitled to?
If we don't... might as well start counting on the Constables either Quitting, desertion OR resuming the shakedown of the local population while we aren't looking.