Tags: afghan | troops | training | US | missing

Afghan Trainees Missing: 44 Disappeared in US Since 2015

Image: Afghan Trainees Missing: 44 Disappeared in US Since 2015

A Reuters report says 44 Afghan troops have gone missing while training in the U.S. since January 2015. (Oleg Zabielin/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Friday, 07 Oct 2016 06:38 AM

Forty-four Afghan troops training in the U.S. have gone missing since January 2015, raising concerns about security and screening procedures for the military training programs, Reuters said in an exclusive report.

Since 2007, about 2,200 Afghan troops have been trained in the U.S., Reuters said, noting that the missing troops presumably absconded to live and work illegally in the U.S.

Other foreign troops have sometimes gone missing while training in the U.S., but the number of Afghan troops to do so, including eight since September, is "out of the ordinary," a U.S. defense official told Reuters.

Reuters said the revelation could be embarrassing for President Barack Obama and fuel supporters of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who has promised a tougher stance on immigration from the Muslim country if he wins.

"The Defense Department is assessing ways to strengthen eligibility criteria for training in ways that will reduce the likelihood of an individual Afghan willingly absconding from training in the U.S. and going AWOL (absent without leave)," Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told Reuters.

Afghan troops are "vetted to ensure they have not participated in human rights abuses and are not affiliated with militant groups," and there is no evidence that the missing troops pose a security threat, Reuters said.

The Washington Free Beacon reported federal authorities were pursuing Afghan troops that had fled U.S. military bases in September.

Three Afghan troops disappeared from bases in Missouri and Georgia during the bombings in New York and New Jersey by Afghan-born suspect Ahmad Rahami, raising terrorism concerns, the Free Beacon noted. Four others fled from bases in Georgia, Virginia and Arkansas during Labor Day weekend.

Since 2002, the U.S. has spent $60 billion to train and equip Afghan troops.

Many Twitter users expressed concern about the missing troops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Forty-four Afghan troops training in the U.S. have gone missing since January 2015, raising concerns about security and screening procedures for the military training programs, Reuters said in an exclusive report.
afghan, troops, training, US, missing
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2016-38-07
Friday, 07 Oct 2016 06:38 AM
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