Bahrain helps bring security to Afghanistan

January 23, 2010

Bahrain’s interior ministry said that the security force it has deployed in Afghanistan was part of the international efforts to bring stability and security to the country.

“The force is on a training and humanitarian mission in Afghanistan as a contribution from Bahrain to the international community efforts to preserve security and peace in the world,” the deputy head of public security said .

A report in a US news portal said that Bahrain had deployed members from its special security force to Afghanistan in December.

“It joins several predominantly Muslim countries that have contributed troops to the war, including the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan and Jordan.”

Under Bahrain’s deployment agreement, reached last year, the special security troops are in Afghanistan for two six-month deployments. Bahrain has the option to do two more six-month deployments after that.

The Bahraini troops work alongside the US Marines who lack the language skills to interrogate the drivers delivering supplies to Camp Leatherneck in volatile Helmand province.

“The Bahrainis are the first line of defense to get into Camp Bastion and Camp Leatherneck. They are on the front line, making that happen,” said Marine Lt. Col. Chris Naler, commander of brigade headquarters at Camp Leatherneck.

“And while the Marines have translators, they can’t always be relied on. During a recent search, a Bahraini caught a translator advising a driver how to smuggle contraband on base.”
In addition to narcotics, the Bahraini forces look for anything that could be used to make a bomb or detonate an explosive: wires and cell phones are confiscated.

“They are fully integrated into what we do. We were expecting hiccups with the language barrier, but it hasn’t been a problem. They know what to do and they go out there and do it,” 2nd Lt. Jared Gastrock, who commands the Marines working with the Bahrainis, was quoted as saying.

Up to 20 members of the Bahraini force speak between five and seven languages, including Farsi, Dari and Pashtu, the report said.

According to NATO, 44 NATO and non-NATO countries are involved in providing security in Afghanistan



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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