Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
December 10, 2009

Early Report on the Afghan Police Mentoring Program

Afghan police trainee.jpg

With the surge now a fact, word is spreading fast about the wretched state of the Afghan police. Whereas the underlying context of the photo is propaganda — America banking on its ability to “mentor” these de facto gangsters — this frame cuts to the heart of the problem. This isn’t some lazy exercise out in the daisies. The photo was taken during a joint patrol in Khan Neshin in Helmand province, the Marines searching a house believed to contain explosives.

The tag line? How about: playing us for suckers.

(photo: Kevin Frayer/A.P.)

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