US Commander: US Will Be Fighting in Afghanistan in 2014

During the roundtable briefing, Caldwell mentioned that the literacy rate among Afghan security forces recruits, which currently stands at only “15-18 percent,” poses a major hurdle for the U.S.-led training mission in Afghanistan.

“Without the basic ability to read a map, write down a weapon’s serial number, or read a bank statement, Afghan National Security Force recruits are greatly at risk on the battlefield and become highly susceptible to corruption,” said Caldwell.

Nevertheless, Caldwell told CNSNews.com that based on troop growth and level of training projections, the ANSF should be operating at an acceptable literacy level by the end of 2014.

At that time, Caldwell said, the ANSF will be at literacy “levels that are acceptable to enable it to be an enduring, self-sustaining force that will continue to professionalize and move forward.” Caldwell did not specify what level of literacy would be considered “acceptable.”

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