In September, it was reported that four Afghan military students being trained in the United States mysteriously vanished from their compounds without a trace. The four Islamic nationals were considered absent without leave, or AWOL, from International Military Student programs in Virginia and Georgia.
After a further investigation, Reuters reports that there quite a few more than four students who have vanished, more like 44. That's right, 44 Afghan troops visiting the United States for military training have gone missing since 2015, Pentagon officials say.
While other foreign troops on U.S. military training visits have sometimes run away, a U.S. defense official said that the frequency of Afghan troops going missing was concerning and "out of the ordinary."
And since the September report, eight Afghan troops have left military bases without authorization, Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said.
But don't worry America. "The Defense Department is assessing ways to strengthen eligibility criteria for training in ways that will reduce the likelihood of an individual Afghan willingly absconding from training in the U.S. and going AWOL (absent without leave)," Stump said.
And how much does this training cost the American taxpayer? Oh not much compared to D.C. standards, just a cool $60 billion since 2002 when the government started the program.