With only months left until the U.S. withdraws from Afghanistan, the war-torn country's security forces seem nowhere near ready to take over their own security — that's the devastating message of "This Is What Winning Looks Like," a new documentary British war correspondent Ben Anderson produced for VICE.
Anderson traveled to Afghanistan in December 2012 and followed U.S. Marines with Afghan security-forces-in-training. In many areas of Afghanistan, international troops have taken up an advisory role ahead of the withdrawal, hoping to teach Afghans how to provide adequate security. Yet the transition proves difficult. Anderson witnessed Afghan police officers locking up prisoners without food or water and claiming fuel money for vehicles that had long since been destroyed. Afghan soldiers open fire on areas where children run around. A police commander is accused of kidnapping young boys, abusing them sexually and even killing them.
"If you would go in and shut down all their corruption schemes, you would render them completely ineffective," Major Bill Steuber, the commanding officer of the police advisory team, says.
Anderson's conclusion is grim: "All it is now is about getting out and saving face. We're not leaving because we achieved our goals. We're leaving because we've given up on achieving those goals," he says. "All the fighting has been to introduce a hated and feared government, who in some areas make the Taliban look like the good guys."
Watch the first part of "This Is What Winning Looks Like" in the video below, and visit the VICE website for the second and third episodes.