Terry Jeffrey
When NATO published a "media backgrounder" on Afghan security forces in October 2010, the U.S.-led alliance was adamant that as the Afghan National Army (ANA) grew to the point where it would be able to defend its own country, it would also need to increase the women in its ranks.

"This growth must result in an inclusive army," said the NATO document. "This requires future effort in building a cadre of female soldiers, as well as ensuring an ethnically balanced army. Currently there are 301 women in the ANA, of which 166 are officers."

A year later, The New York Times ran a story about a female cadet training to be an officer in the ANA.

"She said she did not feel well because two days before, her fiance had threatened her with (a) knife and told her he would kill her if she did not leave the army," reported the Times.

"He says to me from Saturday to Wednesday (when the training school is in session) you are sleeping among American men," said this Afghan cadet.

Sequential Defense Department reports on progress in the Afghan War describe the department's efforts to integrate women into Afghanistan's army.

DOD's June 2008 "Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan" said that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) was conducting a project called "Women's Rights Under Islam, which increases knowledge of women's rights under Islam."

DOD's June 2009 report said. "USAID's Women's Rights Under Islam Program held its final seminar in January 2009."

The same report said: "The Supreme Court of Afghanistan upheld the conviction and 20-year prison sentence of Sayed Pervez Kambakhsh, the student originally sentenced to death for distributing information questioning the treatment of women under Islam. The Supreme Court justices issued their decision in secret, without hearing an argument from the defense."

DOD's April 2010 report said: "We are also expanding women's participation in the security sector through recruitment and protection of women, as well as training on gender-related issues for the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army."

DOD's November 2010 report said: "The inaugural female Officer Cadet School class of 37 female cadets began in May 2010. There was significant attrition, but 29 cadets graduated on September 23, 2010."

DOD's April 2011 report said: "The ANA's second female Officer Cadet School class began in December 2010. Currently, there are 19 Afghan women cadets in the course."

DOD's October 2011 progress report indicated that despite a then-decade-long U.S. occupation, Afghanistan still treated women with an outrageous disregard for their God-given rights.

Terry Jeffrey

Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor-in-chief of CNSNews

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