Missing: Dozens of Afghan Troops Disappear While Visiting USA

America’s lax immigration policies have become a repeated theme during this year’s heated election – including the government’s inability to properly vet or track immigrants prior to entry. But there is another story which most mainstream media has failed to report – the government’s further inability to properly vet or track visiting service members attending some of our nation’s highest level training programs.

America has a long history of providing training to members of allied military forces – including members of the Afghan Army following many years of fighting side by side against the Taliban. The Marine Corps Infantry School, Army Ranger School and even many of the Defense Department’s most advanced intelligence training programs have all hosted visiting Afghan soldiers. Unfortunately, as exciting as these courses may appear, they apparently did not have the ability to hold the attendee’s attention long enough to prevent an unknown number of foreign students from going AWOL. According to a recent Reuters report “dozens of Afghan troops” have disappeared from U.S. sponsored training programs, resulting in trained military personnel from a foreign service freely roaming the nation without monitoring.

afghan-soldierOf course, the Department of Defense has down played the incidents – stating a total of 44 Afghan nationals have disappeared since 2015. However, DOD officials also acknowledge this trend is both “concerning” and “out of the ordinary.” No one has explained why these Afghan soldiers decided to skip town , but the DOD has suggested it is nothing more than their being overwhelmed by the flash, glitter and possibilities the USA has to offer compared to the poverty and low morale they experienced in the Afghan Army. If this is true, then these 44 cases in little over 1 year could be nothing more than a bump in the road. However, no one can provide any definitive proof as to my they went AWOL because, except for a few caught trying to illegally sneak into Canada, all are still missing. With them go their motives, any information concerning a pre-planned measure designed to insert foreign fighters inside America’s borders, as well as any training or intelligence they may have gained while attending US military training programs.

Once again the Department of Defense claims there is no reason to worry; each foreign soldier was properly vetted prior to admittance into any DOD program.  So, the same government which admits it is impossible to properly vet Syrian immigrants now claims to have done just that when it comes to visiting Afghan troops? How is that possible? The Afghan Army is known to be riddled with Taliban supporters, the government records are spotty at best and having unit support seems to be the most reliable information available. If the vetting process is so complete, how is it that 44 out of just over 2000 visiting students have jumped ship?

Regardless of their motivation or vetting, the DOD still maintains there is no danger as none of the missing soldiers have been in any way tied to any criminal activities whatsoever. This is very reassuring unless you consider being AWOL, traveling without authorization in defiance of both US law and Afghan Army orders or attempting to sneak across the Canadian border to be illegal.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

3 thoughts on “Missing: Dozens of Afghan Troops Disappear While Visiting USA

  1. Tom you bring up a good point. As you pointed out, what is waiting for these military students & officers when they get home. Their is not as clear of a progression in rank as our military has developed. To return home may present loss of more than rank. It’s not the topic you carry on with your military director.

  2. There is all too enlightening of the situation at hand. I don’t suggest a round up per se, but I do want to know what measures are being implemented. I guess rather than lying to our faces, it would be better to know that an actual team is tasked with finding those AWOL rather than saying “Oh it’s alright, we vetted them, but technically our track record says otherwise.” Conflicting statements aside, it does make me wonder about the conditions of the Afghan Army to make them jump ship so readily.

    1. Given the ANA’s record of being rife with Taliban infiltrators and sympathizers, I’d find the prospect of several Afghans with U.S. military training running about the country with no one knowing their whereabouts (or loyalties) to be a bit worrisome, in the least.

      Given that many past terrorist attacks have failed partly due to the sheer incompetence of the perpetrators (whose fanaticism thankfully did not compensate for their lack of expertise), it’s a rather concerning to think what these Afghans could do, or what skills they could pass on to would-be terrorist sympathizers whose intent outmatches their talent?

      If the U.S. can’t vet the men being recruited for the Afghan National Army to ensure that they aren’t Taliban sympathizers or potential deserters, what makes them think they can vet hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Islamic world to screen out the bad apples?

      As for the conditions in the ANA itself, one should also question the motivation of the men who would enlist in that organization. Anyone who would willingly join with a foreign military power (as they consider us infidels) against his own people (i.e. the Taliban) should have some VERY good reasons for doing so if he is to be trusted. I suspect that many of them joined for the pay, or the thought that they and their families would get to go to the U.S. When these opportunists found themselves in America, which must have seemed like Allah’s garden to them, they probably said, “to hell with the ANA, let’s live it up here!” At least that’s the best case scenario, at least until they find that in America, you are expected to work, not loaf around and get handouts from the government.

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