Video: Afghanistan army flunks Pentagon report card

  1. Closed captioning of: Afghanistan army flunks Pentagon report card

    >> detroit metro airport .

    >>> now to news from overseas tonight. tonight we have an nbc news exclusive, a report that was prepared for u.s. military commanders about the situation in afghanistan. how ready the afghan army is. this report was not to be distributed, but it has been now and as you'll see, it shows what a tough road americans in uniform now have in front of them. our chief foreign correspondent richard engel obtained the report and he's with us in our new york studios with more. richard, good evening.

    >> this is a copy of that report. it was prepared for a briefing for centcom commander general david petraeus and copied to his commanding general in afghanistan. and the military says that it is still a preliminary report, that it is not final, but that does not change what this says about the afghan national army or the ana. the 25-page study obtained by nbc news says senior afghan commanders are, quote, not at war. many ana leader work short days, are often absent and place personal gain above national survival. the report says afghan troops simply aren't leading the fight, but remain dependent on u.s. forces , and show few signs of wanting to take off the training wheels . but what is striking about the report is that it goes to the heart of president obama 's argument about the war, when announcing the surge, the president said afghan forces must be trained and equipped quickly, so american troops can return home. but the report's section on the afghan army 's personnel says corruption, nepotism, and untrained, unmotivated personnel makes success all but impossible. and there may not be nearly as many afghan battalions as the country claims. the report said previous estimates are not believable. estimate for soldiers actually in battalions far below reported it said example, between 40% and 50% in some areas. and afghan soldiers still in the ranks have literacy problems, and that mentally, physically unfit and drug addicts hurt units. perhaps the most controversial finding, however, has to do with timing. president obama has said he wants the troop surge to start drawing down in july 2011 . but the assessment said it will take time to expand and rehabilitate afghan forces. the report said it cannot take a year to fix this problem. the report is dated from mid-december and it just goes on and on. mostly complaining about leadership and corruption within the afghan security forces .

    >> we went over there weeks ago just to watch them train the afghans. the problem is you don't get to see the --

    >> that is now the priority and this says that the priority is -- has a problem.

    >> richard, thanks for your reporting tonight. richard engel with us.

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