Between 2005 and 2017 the U.S. military brought more than 2,500 Afghan soldiers and police to the United States for training, including programs that trained pilots for the nascent Afghan Air Force and special forces, according to SIGAR.
Of the 320 foreign military trainees who left while on courses in the United States from 2005 to 2017, 152 – or more than 47 percent – were Afghans, said a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
The State Department called that number “unacceptably high”. SIGAR found that the rate of asylum seekers among Afghan military trainees rose in recent years as violence in the Islamist Taliban insurgency spread across Afghanistan and security forces sustained heavy casualties.
In 2016, for example, the percentage of Afghan trainees who went AWOL (absent without leave) jumped from an historical average of about 6 or 7 percent to 13 percent, the report noted.