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The U.S. hopes to double the size of the Afghan national army within the next two years. Above, Afghan recruits shortly before graduation from the Kabul Military Training Center. Yochi Dreazen/The Wall Street Journal

Washington Times: Iraq, Afghanistan forces struggling despite years of U.S. investment, training

Battlefield reverses in Iraq and the stepped-up tempo of terrorist strikes in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital in recent days are raising fresh questions about whether U.S. efforts to stand up and train both countries’ armed forces will ever pay off militarily.

Military experts say the Islamic State’s ability to drive Iraqi Security Forces out of Ramadi shows that Iraqis are not yet effective enough to defend their own country, despite billions of dollars spent by U.S. taxpayers to prepare them for the task.

WNU Editor: In view of what is now happening .... there is no question in my mind that the U.S. has failed in their training programs for the Iraq and Afghan miltiary. Spending billions of dollars and allocating hundreds (if not thousands) of trainers to train and equip a military that is in a country with a long history (and culture) of corruption, sectarianism/tribalism, and a professional military infrastructure that is all but non-existent will .... to put it bluntly .... not work .... unless one is ready to spend years (if not decades) and tens of billions of dollars to do so. Since no country is willing to make such a commitment .... a different strategy is definitely needed. On a personal note .... I have never been confident that nation-building (with short term objectives in mind) is a workable policy for a country like the U.S. .... I can now say the same about building up a professional military from scratch in a "Third World" nation.

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