US exit creates army ripe for recruitment

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Illustration: Simon Letch Numbers coming out of Afghanistan often are scary but try wrapping your head around this one – 123,500. After a roller-coaster decade of training by the US-led coalition, that’s the number of soldiers and policemen who will be turfed from Kabul’s foreign-funded security payroll as the coalition goes through the pretence of a dignified exit from what has become the US’s longest war. As bottom-line budget tightening, these cuts will be welcome in coalition capitals. But they will be even more welcome as an army of well-trained, battle-hardened fighters for the insurgencies and militias that are busily carving out territory, even before the departure of coalition…

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