By Sikander Hayat
Barack Obama declared that Afghan National Army will be increased from 80000 to 134000 and according to The Economist:
“Central to the review is the idea of increasing the size of Afghan security forces. The additional 4,000 soldiers will come from the 82nd Airborne Division to southern Afghanistan, in part to support the Afghan army and in part to offer more training. The local army is due to grow from 80,000 to 134,000 by 2011, and some of the proposals speak of expanding it to 250,000. The police, too, would be boosted. The cost will certainly run into billions of dollars. But this is probably cheaper than continuing to fight the Taliban with Western troops”.
This is a welcome development as a strong Afghan army is the key to the future of strong and peaceful Afghanistan which will be free of ‘cancer’ of Al-Qaida. This newly expanded army should represent the ethnic mix of the country and give Pashtuns a majority in the personnel and officer class. Then and only then this army will not be considered an occupying force but the Army which represents it people and want to protect them with their blood.
Also it will be good for the relations of the Afghanistan & Pakistan if some of the officers of this new Afghan army are trained in the Pakistan Military Academy of Kakool. This academy already trains officers from the freindly countires in the South Asia and from Arab world.