The Economist is not impressed:
This week, in driving sleet, the first force on the ground, 183 men deployed in the picturesque district of Jalrez, were occupying a series of checkpoints. The force commander, Sayed Abbas, said local villagers were supportive, but US forces were less so. And he complained that their issued AK-47s were malfunctioning Czech imitations and his men had to rely on locals for food and shelter. The fear is that the AP3 groups, if not closely watched, may swiftly become criminalised and prey to existing local factional disputes. In Wardak these include rifts dating back to the civil war of the 1990s, and a feud between ethnic Hazaras and Kuchi nomads over grazing rights.
As a first step, the force in Jalrez is not a hugely cheering model. It includes only 30 Pushtuns, although they are the main ethnic group in the area. Commander Abbas says they failed to offer their sons and, consequently, their areas of the district will not be defended. The provincial governor, Mohammad Halim Fidai, counters that the local Pushtuns were initially intimidated by the Taliban, an overwhelmingly Pushtun group, into not contributing, but have since promised another 50 men. He describes the Taliban as “very frightened” by the new force.
Lack of Pashtun buy – in is not good.
Whoever provided their Basic Rifle Marksmanship training failed to demonstrate the superiority of the Samopal over the Kalashnikov.