KAJAKI, Afghanistan — How does a nation faced with decades of conflict turn a new page? With any luck, a new police force.
The Afghan Uniform Police have been growing for several years, joining the more widely known Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police on the streets and dirt paths of Afghanistan. We saw that firsthand today while visiting an AUP graduation with Lt. Col. Kevin Trimble, commander of 1st Battalion, 8th Marines.
The ceremony was quick, but underscored the transition that will be coming as U.S. forces draw down in Afghanistan. Even the AUP leader here at the ceremony noted it in his speech during the ceremony.
The notable difference between the AUP and both the ANA and ANP is they’re recruited locally to serve in and around their home villages. Doing so will hypothetically help them build a relationship with people they already know at least in passing.
We’re again spending the night at Forward Operating Base Whitehouse, 1/8’s headquarters in Kajaki. We’ll keep you posted on our work as time and operational security allows.