Experiences with the ANA

I know that this has been touched on before, but the Search Function (before I am assasinated) only seems to show it up mixed in with other topics.

Watching the re run of Ross Kemp tonight, I noticed that the British Soldiers were very, very complimentary about a lot of the ANA soldiers, with an IR Officer making a comment that one ANA soldier featured would make an excellent British Officer and was one of the bravest men he had ever met. Several other comments were made about their Grunts and without fail the words "brave" and "fearless" were always used.

Obviously (due to being a poor old ex squaddie that was out long before it started), I have never been there or met any of them, as I am sure that many on the site haven't, so I was just wondering what is the opinion of Afghanistan veterans on here that have actually fought along side them?
On the whole, the good 'uns make up for the dope smoking, back eye loving minority. Their bravery (some might call it stupidity) when under fire is to be admired. I found them loyal and with a cracking sense of humour.


i watched ross kempt, all the british soldiers are in the trench taking over and "Jackie Chan" as the brits called him was standing up out of the trench firing an m16 from the hip in the direction of the taliban while ross said to the camera man "look at that nutter"
Cheers 5A. Would be interesting to hear from others that have actually served with them.

PS, Udah, with all due respect, if I'd wanted a civvy to repeat to me what I have just watched on the box, I'd have paid a young blonde Polish bird to gobble me after every 3 words. Thats why the thread title said "EXPERIENCES" not "PLEASE REPEAT THE TELLY"
Never got into contact with them but did patrol with them. Heard from blokes who had that they had some, especcially a few old mujahadin originals, who they would literally have to hold back to stop them charging suicidally at the enemy. Around the FOB i found them all a bit mediavel in their thinking and habits... remember once a group of them cutting the ears off a dog with a blunt pair of scissors to make it a 'fighting dog'. Other than that i only really know the stories/myths/squaddie bollox that were floating round about their bum wiping habits, ruining of their american built accn and drug/bumming orgies.... i guess maybe a good match for the british squaddie :)
Uladh said:
ah * off maby some people didnt watch the programme

Even though I mentioned it in the very first post?

Fcuk off civvy, I'm looking for soldiers experiences, not civvy's fantasies.

By the way, thanks "lightlyseasonedvet", any info is good.

I thought this would be a good place for people to learn about real experiences with the ANA.


Book Reviewer
At risk of incurring Auntie's wrath, I (who have never been near Afghan) put this question forward;

What motivates these blokes to fight?

All Afghans, it would seem, are culturally acclimatized to be 'up for it.' Both the Taliban and (some) individuals and units of the ANA are clearly brave fellows in the current conflict.

What is the obligation or reward that makes them fight effectively for one cause or the other?

Pay from Kabul?
Pay off in dope?
Local influence?
Local tribalism?
The hope of turning Afghan into a nice medieval theocracy?
The hope of turning Afghan into a nice, er, democratic, capitalist paradise?

Or what?
In the main, all Afghans are up for a scrap. They've been indoctrinated with the fighting creed since birth and they're very good at it. Much has been said in the media etc about how they're loyal only to the highest bidder. I'd disagree in part with that. The government officials and the higher echelons of the police and army may do it for the back handers, security and suchlike but the common or garden Afghan Tom is as loyal as they come. To his mates and the British soldiers, especially those on the mentoring side.

Most of them want stability in their country and security for their families. No different to any other person anywhere in the world.

The fact that they get the youngest, smoothest and most hairless guy in the Kandak to wear mascara on a Thursday, prior to his starring role in an all male bukkake, is neither here nor there.


man love thursday you have to laugh really. when you tell people about it they dont believe you.
as far as the ANA go i have neve worked with them directly cause i work in the hospital but we do see a lot of bizarre injuries coming in from the ANA such as negligent discharge from an RPG! WTF.
Having just spent the past six months working with, and in some cases for, the ANA, I’d have to agree that they are very brave, very loyal fighters.

The problem comes when British and other Coalition partners try and impose their values and standards on the Afghan Army, and indeed Afghan culture as a whole. When people do that - that’s where the “they’re rubbish” comments come from.

Of course they don’t have the level of sophistication and complexity that the Western Armies have – but they don’t need it. For who they are, and for the part of the world they operate in, the systems they have work fine.

The problem is that the ANA is a real mixed bag at the moment, especially in the Officer Corps. On one hand, you have Western educated, literate and highly intelligent officers who can grasp the nature of modern warfare, all the way through to farm boys with quick wartime commissions who can’t even read or write, who are slightly more “medieval” in their thinking.

Where I think we need to influence and tinker as necessary, is at the higher levels of command within the ANA and get them used to the All Arms Battle and use of assets they’ve not really had access to, or needed previously – Fast Air, Armour and Artillery for example.

That way, the bravery and loyalty of the soldiers on the ground won’t be wasted by those in command, and in fact will be enhanced by the assistance we’re giving them.


TheCheerfulSubbie said:
... get them used to the All Arms Battle and use of assets they’ve not really had access to, or needed previously – Fast Air, Armour and Artillery for example.

Just the thing for a 3rd world country with little or no finance... I think there is a reason they have not had access to, or needed them previously.



TheCheerfulSubbie said:
But they've got them now - courtesy of us! So really, we should show them how to use them properly?

Until we leave... and let's face it these weapons are hardly winning hearts and minds are they?
Agreed – that’s why we need to train them in the correct and proportionate use of them.

(I accept the Coalition haven’t quite got that right either, but hey, every day’s a school day, no matter if you’re from Kandhar or Catterick, right?)


They shit anywhere and everywhere.

They can't drive.

The minute the vehicle in front of them stops they take it as their q to get their head down.

They piss kneeling down and dab their bellends in the sand.

When the ANP throw a flare up from a CP they start unloading their AK's out of their wagon windows.
Does that really matter? We're there to support them in bringing security to their country, not to judge them on their social skills.

Frankly, they could rock up on patrol dressed as Coco the Clown and it wouldn't bother me. It's their county. I'm there to advise on soldiering skills, not manners and bearing.

I'd leave that to a Guards officer...

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