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Tuesday, October 09, 2007 

Canada's Military Pays Salary Of Afghan Police!

The government structures in Afghanistan are so corrupt and so dysfunctional, the Canadian Military has to oversee and administer the salaries paid to serving Afghan police members.

"The Canadian military has begun paying the salaries of Afghan police directly, following reports that impoverished police officers weren't receiving money owed by the Afghan government. "The money did not get to these guys," Brig.-Gen. Guy Laroche said in an interview with the Globe and Mail published Tuesday. "Somebody is taking 10 per cent here, 10 per cent there, and at the end, the poor guy is left with nothing."
CBC News

Just to be clear, the military isn't "paying" the salaries, they're just handing over the money from the central government, rather than having it go through local officials (who apparently can't be trusted). That's still a pretty terrible indictment of "progress" in Afghanistan, but "Canada's Military Pays Salary of Afghan Police" makes it sound like Canadian taxpayers are paying the salaries of Afghan police, which is clearly NOT what's happening here.

Fair ball - I have altered the wording in my opening paragraph to ensure that your point is made ... "the Canadian Military has to oversee and administer the salaries paid to serving Afghan police members."

Although indirectly, Canadian taxpayers ARE paying the salaries because the money in the fund comes from NATO nations - LD

"The money for police salaries comes from an Afghanistan government trust fund that is funded by donor countries. Canada is a major contributor." - CBC

That's a very fair point too. I think there's a fair amount of support for that kind of foreign aid though, so I don't think people would be too outraged by it (generally). I think most people have a problem with "soldiers for Afghanistan" but "money for Afghanistan" is probably OK in most Canadians' books.

AGREED!!

If the Afghan government is sovereign than it should be paying the police through transferring funds to the local government concerned.
If the local government is so corrupt that they cannot be trusted to pay their police force what on earth are we doing there?
If this is the democracy we have brought Afghanistan let them live with it and leave right now. We are not nation nannies.

http://kenthink7.blogspot.com

Is anybody concerned that by paying the Afghnistan Police in cash directly from a Canadian agency, we are in fact now legally responsible for the actions of this "police force"? Would you trust a Police that is managed by a government that is too corrupt to pay them? I'm scatching my head a little. Any help?

I also wanted to point out that while this is largely about corruption, it's not ALL about corruption. The police force is still ill-equiped, and lacking proper uniforms in many cases, so making determinations about who is, and is not an actual police officer is sometimes difficult. Also, many of these people are of course extremely poor, so because of incompetence on the part of local governement (as opposed to corruption) they and their families are often terribly hurt by a payroll system that is horribly inconsistent. If you don't get paid one month (through incompetence and a lack of a stable bureaucracy perhaps, not JUST corruption) then when you finally do get paid you may feel the need to abandon your post and return to the village where your family lives to get the money they need to them. So police officers walk away, not because they are corrupt, but because their families are struggling and they need to get the money that has finally arrived to them, to help them survive. Similarly, "corrupt" acts (like selling their weapons for example) may seem to our Western eyes as greed and corruption. However, for a man trying to feed his family on a salary that wouldn't feed most of our Canadian pets, selling his gun may very well be "survival", not "greed".

All of which can also be arguments that our mission in Afghanistan is not working, of course, I just though it necessary to point out that "corruption" is a very different animal in Kabul than it is in Ottawa.

To me, the mission in Afghanistan has always been a pipe dream for us. We literally would have to drag this nation from the Middle Ages, kicking and screaming into the 20th Century ( forget about the 21st Century) before ANY peace could be achieved. The nation is basically so screwed up, so primitive and so dangerous - we have NO hope of success. You can't conquer it (ask the Russians and the British). You can't assume that anything egalitarian is going to happen in their society. It is corrupt at every level. Only the Afghani's can do what is needed to make themselves function at a higher level as a society, but they don't want to. A couple of thousand Canadian troops is basically a ridiculous approach to a massive problem.

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