California National Guard Adviser Says Afghans Are Ready for U.S. Troop Drawdown

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A California National Guard adviser who recently returned from a six month deployment in Afghanistan says the people of that country are ready to take control of their fate.

Capt. Chiddy Adighije is originally from Nigeria and has been in the California National Guard for 11 years. His civilian job is a network engineer for General Dynamics and he helped the Afghan police set up internet capability that beefs up  their communications capability.

Reports of Taliban attacks on Afghan police that have killed dozens of officers give the impression that things are out of control.  But  Adighije had a different view police and the commander he worked with in the southern part of Afghanistan where he was deployed

“The police force was actually enthusiastic about their jobs, were very professional. He and his troops and his staff, they’re good to go,” said Adighije.

He agrees with President Obama that an American troop draw down is appropriate. It will go from the current 32,000 troops to about 10,000 in the next couple of years.  He cautioned that anyone who wears a uniform can be a target of violence no matter what their job duties.  He said he had to stay on alert at all  times.  But he also said the Afghan people are eager to take the lead in governing their own country.

While California National Guardsmen will continue to come home, he said state emergencies including wild fires that have swept the state during a drought will keep the guard busy

“Fires are coming up again this season, this is the season for fires so I can assure the American people, and Californians in particular that the National Guard will be gainfully employed,” said Adighije.


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