U.S. Training Tajik Forces in Anti-Terrorism

U.S. forces are quietly training Tajik special forces in anti-terrorism measures.

The United States military is assisting with anti-terrorism training near the capital of Tajikistan, the Tajik national security body said. RIA Novosti, quoting the body, reported American troops were in a joint training course at the Fakhrabad military training center near Dushanbe. The course began Jan 28 an ends March 9. Tajik border guards and Special Forces units are being shown tactics in anti-terrorism and techniques to defend themselves against attacks by illegal armed groups.

This is the first joint military training that U.S. and Tajik forces have conducted. Given its proximity to Afghanistan, NATO considers Tajikistan an ally in the war on terror and in promoting stability in the region. The United States allocated nearly $14 million to help bolster the borders of Tajikistan and improve the country’s anti-narcotics programs.

Currently, 200 French troops and several aircraft are based in Tajikistan to back the NATO-led forces operating across the border in Afghanistan.

One presumes American Special Forces are the lead element here. It’s good to know that, despite allegedly being strained to capacity in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re continuing to conduct economy of force missions like this one.

Indeed, this would seem the ideal model for combating Islamist terrorism: Quiet professionals with virtually no footprint training up friendly local forces to do the job themselves.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.