There is an old Afghan saying, ‘a strong river
is made drop by drop’. And that is precisely what is happening at the Afghan National Defence
University near Lake Qargha on the western outskirts of Kabul.
The university, modelled on America’s West Point, provides an entry point to the Afghan
National Army for hundreds of aspiring military leaders.
“The main purpose of this university is to provide quality education for Afghan National
Army officers. It was established to standardize the training and education for the army.
The army is progressing and its development depends on its officers’ training. ”
The rigorous four-year course teaches cadets a broad range of academic and military skills
to prepare the cadets for their army careers. “During their first year they will study all
general subjects, maths, physics, chemistry, all these things. When they pass and they
go to sophomore, they will select their civilian profession: civil engineering, computer science,
English, law and all of these things. When they finish the third year they go to the
senior year, they will choose their major of military: infantry, tanks, logistics, intelligence…
all of those things. So it is a model of West Point academy.”
Upon successful graduation, the cadets will go on to join their fellow officers in the
field. “Joining the Afghan National Army, wearing
the uniform, carrying its weapons and handling its equipment come with great responsibility
and great risks ahead.” And for the soldiers themselves, the training
is invaluable. “The army needs educated people. It’s not
like that that we take some soldiers who don’t know anything. We need officers that are building
for the army. And step by step our army improves and often become educated people.”
“Right now, we have to build this country and this country needs people like us.”
This is Jack Somerville in Kabul, for NATO Channel.