Afghanis in the United States for military training are deserting. According to the Pentagon, 44 Afghanis have deserted while in the U.S., presumably to live and work here illegally.
Afghani soldiers have been training in the U.S. since 2007, part of a program to improve the relations between the U.S. and Afghanistan and to provide their soldiers with effective skills. So far, 2,200 Afghan troops have trained in the United States.
However, since January 2015, a 44 of those troops have deserted their training and disappeared in the U.S., nobody knows where these men have gone.
It is unlikely these individuals have disappeared to participate in terrorism, but the possibility does exist. It is more likely, according to the Pentagon, they are seizing the opportunity to live and work in the U.S. despite being here illegally.
In addition to being in the U.S. illegally, these men are also military deserters. It is unclear if they would face punishment from U.S. or Afghani authorities for desertion.
All soldiers are screened through the Pentagon before they are allowed to visit and train here. They are vetted for human right abuses and connections to militant organizations. It is obvious that more must be done to ensure these men do not desert their training.
The Pentagon is pledging to improve the process to prevent desertions.
Of course, another question must be asked. Why are these soldiers brought to the U.S. in the first place? Wouldn’t it make more sense to train Afghani soldiers in Afghanistan? And why bother with training Afghani if they are indifferent about their own country’s future to the point they will desert their military?
Our continued involvement in Afghanistan is causing problems and may be putting Americans at home at risk.