Cablegate: Prt Jalalabad: Police Training with Minimal Resources

DE RUEHBUL #5845/01 3480653
R 140653Z DEC 06





E.O. 12958 N/A

Reftel: Kabul 5566

1. (U) Summary: Jalalabad PRT Officer accompanied a
two-military member PRT police evaluation and
assistance team to two ANP district headquarters on
November 25. The team conducted a simple survey of
equipment, personnel, and facilities, and led a short
training session. Both visits were extremely well
received, and demonstrated how much can be
accomplished using simple techniques and limited
resources. End Summary.

2. (U) Jalalabad PRT Officer accompanied a PRT police
assistance and evaluation team to two Nangarhar
districts on November 25. This was the first visit in
a new initiative to conduct training and assessment in
all 22 district and five city ANP headquarters. This
effort began with a two-day conference at the PRT on
November 20 and 21, which nineteen of the 22 District
Police chiefs attended. Rather than conducting
training for the policemen themselves at the PRT, the
team decided to visit each district center in order to
allow more police to participate in the training,
provide the team with actual "eyes on" of the
situation in each district, and keep police in their
district rather than being way for a day to travel to
the PRT in Jalalabad.

3. (U) The team conducting this training and
assessment consisted of only two soldiers, Sergeant
McGowan Anderson and Sergeant Carlus Church. The
third member of their team was on leave. In spite of
having only two members and employing very simple
methods to survey the situation and conduct a short
training, the PRT Officer was impressed with how
effective this was, and how much of a difference it


4. (U) The team followed a very simple formula in
both districts. The team began with three pages of
simple survey questions, going through a list of
supplies as well as activities in the district. The
survey asked about weapons, ammunition, uniforms,
boots, blankets, and food - what they had and what
they had formally requested already. In both
districts, they repeatedly emphasized that the Police
Chief needs to make formal requests on the Form 14 to
the Police Headquarters (PHQ) in Kabul. They
encouraged the Police Chiefs to keep repeating their
requests through their system until their needs are
met, rather than giving up and asking the PRT for the
supplies. Sergeant Anderson explained to the PRT
Officer that this repeated emphasis helped stress the
importance of beginning to rely on their own
government and holding them accountable for long term
sustenance, rather than looking for one-time hand-outs
from the PRT or other international organizations that
will eventually leave the country.

5. (U) The team then met with each of the police
section heads who were present: Logistics, Personnel,
Criminal, and Narcotics. They asked for the number of
police and rank of all members of the force, what
crimes the police had responded to in the recent past,
and how they had reacted. Following the survey, we
took a tour of the facilities - offices, living
quarters, jail, equipment storage, and then the two
sergeants conducted a short training session on riot
control and the proper use of a baton.

Visit to Kama District

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6. (U) The first visit was to the Kama District, a
prosperous farming district with extensive irrigation
from the Kunar River, just east of Jalalabad city.
The police headquarters is located in the PRT-built
District Center. Kama Police Chief Gholam Farooq
reported that 60 people are assigned to the district
police force, but only 28 actually work there, as many
work in Jalalabad. (At the end of the visit, 28
policemen did participate in Sgt. Anderson's
training.) The Logistics Officer reported that they
have 30 pistols, 28 AK-47's, two motorcycles that are
not working, two operable hand held radios, and a
generator but no fuel. They reported that each
policeman has one summer uniform, but the only
policemen with winter uniforms are those that
purchased their own. (The chief said he bought his in
the local market.) They have no sleeping bags, and
their blankets are all one to three years old.
(Comment: The Ministry of Interior (MOI), in
coordination with Combined Security Training Command -
Afghanistan (CSTC-A), is working to issue winter
equipment and supplies as quickly as it arrives in
theater. The equipment is issued from the MOI to the
Provincial Logistics Officers.) There are no first
aid kits, and clinic doctors don't have medicine.

7. (U) Sergeants Anderson and Church discussed what
would be a reasonable request for supplies, and
repeatedly encouraged the Chief to submit the request
to the Provincial Headquarters on a Form 14 once per
month. They said that unfilled requests should be
repeated, and they asked that the PRT be provided
copies so that they could help with follow-up.

8. (U) The most recent criminal activity the police
reported was a land dispute the day before. We were
shown the "prison" which was a room in a primitive
building adjacent to the district center. The windows
were bricked up and there was a padlock on the door.
Four elderly gentlemen were lying on mats on the floor
(we assumed that they had been involved in the land
dispute the day before). The Chief said that there is
very little criminal activity in the district, and
that the local villagers will tell them when someone
is acting strangely, or an unknown person comes to the
village. When asked for an example, he mentioned an
incident one month ago when villagers reported a man
acting very strangely. The police went to the village
and arrested the man, but quickly realized that he was
mentally unstable rather than a criminal, and he was
released shortly after being arrested. They reported
no narcotics activity in the district, and said that
there are no poppies grown there.

9. (U) District Sub-Governor Mohammad Ali Sangasray
joined the group at this point, and SGT Anderson
explained that they had come to help make sure that
the police are equipped and trained. The Sub-Governor
said he was brand new, having only arrived in the
district on Thursday. (Comment - Nangarhar sub-
governors are all former Mujahadeen. The Nangarhar
provincial government moves them between provinces
quite frequently, seldom leaving them in one district
more than six months.) Sub-Governor Sangasray gave an
impassioned speech about having been the police chief
in Kama himself, and that his police need more
training and better equipment. He said that while the
people in Kama support the government, it is unfair
that they do not grow poppies, while districts like
Shinwar that do grow poppies receive all the
government support. (Comment: This is a refrain that
we hear in virtually all districts. In fact, we heard
this same argument at the PRT Conference earlier this
month on the provincial level.)

KABUL 00005845 003 OF 004

10. (U) SGT Anderson then conducted a short Riot
Control and Collapsible Baton Training for the 28
policemen, as well as a short question and answer
session. He asked the police what their issues were.
The first response was that their pay is not enough to
support a family. SGT Anderson explained the recent
pay reform, and encouraged them to be patient as
salaries should increase very soon. He asked them
about the new bank card system, and they complained
that they now have to spend almost half their salary
to get a taxi to Jalalabad to pick their salary up
from the bank. SGT Anderson explained that this is
part of a system that will ultimately lead to them
being able to each receive 100 percent of their
salary, rather than having to share a cut with a
middle man doing the distribution. He said that it
would also benefit the country's banking system and
that the goal was to have a bank right in Kama where
they could easily collect their full salary. (Note:
Reftel explains this new pay system for the ANP. End

11. (U) Several policemen also complained about the
proposed housing development for police next to the
Regional Training Center in Rodat, just outside of
Jalalabad. They said that they were being asked to
pay multiple fees for the right to settle on land that
was supposed to be given to support the police and
their families. They also asked about the payment of
1000 Afghanis that President Karzai had promised to
distribute to the police country-wide this month.

Visit to the Goshta District

12. (U) The team then traveled to the district of
Goshta, which sits between Kama and the Pakistani
border. We met Police Chief Jan Dad who had recently
transferred to Goshta, following training at the PRT
two weeks earlier. He had previously served in Kabul
and as a teacher at the Regional Training Center for
police in Rodat.

13. (U) Chief Dad reported that there are 45
patrolmen and 21 officers assigned to the district,
but 18 of them are working in Jalalabad, leaving 48
personnel actually in the district. As far as
equipment, they have 20 pistols, 20 AK-47's, two
working trucks and one motorcycle, four handheld
radios, and one private generator that is not working.
Each officer has one summer uniform and one winter
uniform, but they have no sleeping bags and no first
aid kits. He reported that they have no jail, but
they have a room in the school next door where they
can lock people up. There are three checkpoints in
the district, where they search vehicles for weapons
or drugs.

14. (U) Chief Dad and his Criminal Officer, Khaki
Shah, reported that much of the trouble in the
district comes from conflicts between the two large
tribes in the district. They also mentioned that they
had arrested three people nine months earlier who were
accused of over 80 cases of carjacking and murder.
The persons had been convicted and are now sentenced
to 16 years in prison and SGT Anderson congratulated
them for breaking up this crime ring. Other than
that, they reported that they had had no other crimes
in the past two years.

15. (U) We then toured their facilities. Like in
Kama, they have offices in the District Center itself,
as well as very primitive small buildings adjacent to
the center for both housing and storage. They showed

KABUL 00005845 004 OF 004

us where their weapons were stored in a locked wooden
box underneath one of the beds in a nine person dorm
room. SGT Anderson insisted that they open the box
and examine the weapons, but the police said that they
were not operable. Only after much urging, they
brought the box out and unlocked it, revealing ten
Czech M-58 assault rifles (analogous to AK-47's).
They insisted that the guns were not operable anyway,
but upon inspection, SGT. Anderson determined that
they were fine, only in need of cleaning and routine
maintenance. He offered to take them back to the PRT
to do this himself, but they were reluctant to let
them leave the district. So he invited them to bring
the weapons to the PRT themselves, and he would show
them how to properly clean and operate them, as well
as give them lunch. SGT. Anderson joked that keeping
the weapons under the bed only protected them from
monsters who might try to hide there. He said that
the next time he visited, he wanted to see that the
weapons were all out and serviceable and ready to be
used against other threats as well. We then inspected
the "jail" which, as described earlier, was a room in
the school next door. We all agreed that it was not a
room that we would want to be locked in, as there was
garbage and human feces on the dirt floor in the room.

16. (U) In a similar question and answer period to
our visit in Kama, the police expressed concerns about
the new pay card, and SGT Anderson again explained the
concept and encouraged them to be patient and believe
that the system would offer many benefits for the
policemen and the country once fully operational.

17. (U) SGTs Anderson and Church conducted a Riot
Control and Collapsible Baton training with this
group, though only five of the 19 actually had batons.
However, it was a lively session, enthusiastically
received, as the sergeants demonstrated how to use the
batons for crowd control, repeatedly emphasizing that
they were defensive weapons, and not for any type of
aggressive beating or hitting.

18. (U) Chief Dad insisted that we stay for lunch,
and tried to take us inside his office, while serving
our infantry protection team outside with the Humvees.
SGT Anderson insisted that we would all eat outside,
as it was important for unit cohesion that we not
differentiate through unequal treatment. Chief Dan
insisted that Afghan custom would not let him host the
trainers outside, so eventually a compromise was
reached and four soldiers were left outside with the
Humvees and the rest crowded around the table in the
Chief's office for a traditional meal of rice, bread,
and chicken.

19. (U) Comment: These two visits show how much can
be done to make a difference, even with limited
resources. This simple survey and training, as well
as the expression of interest and concern for the
policemen and their work, is an excellent example of
supporting all three lines of the PRT operation:
enhancing security, extending the reach of the Afghan
government, and promoting development (in this case,
development of human capital). It especially
demonstrated to these local policemen, who are working
for very low pay in often harsh conditions, that both
the Afghan government and international community do
support what they are doing for their communities and
their country.

© Scoop Media

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