Monday, July 12, 2010

Pakistani Troops Trained by Americans to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda

The recent graduation ceremony here for Pakistani troops trained by Americans to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda was intended as show of fresh cooperation between the Pakistani and American militaries. But it said as much about its limitations. Nearly 250 Pakistani paramilitary troops in khaki uniforms and green berets snapped to attention, with top students accepting a certificate from an American Army colonel after completing the specialized training for snipers and platoon and company leaders.

But this new center, 20 miles from the Afghanistan border, was built to train as many as 2,000 soldiers at a time. The largest component of the American-financed instruction — a 10-week basic-training course — is months behind schedule, officials from both sides acknowledge, in part because Pakistani commanders say they cannot afford to send troops for new training as fighting intensifies in the border areas.

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