Karzai Proposes Military Draft in Afghanistan

President Hamid Karzai is proposing a draft to beef up the ranks of Afghanistan's army and police so his country can assume control of the fight against the Taliban within five years.

The plan comes amid Western dissatisfaction with both the quality and size of Afghan forces, any many U.S. and European officials think it could take as a long as decade before they're ready to stand on their own.

Those concerns were illustrated Sunday when Afghan and North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces arrested the deputy police chief of a central Afghan province over allegations that he was helping insurgents place roadside bombs aimed at coalition troops.

The police official had been under investigation "for some time" for helping to store, distribute and install explosives around Mahmud-Raqi, the capital of Kapisa province, north of Kabul, said Ali Bettencourt, a spokeswoman for U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan.

NATO officials also said the police official was involved in bribery and corruption involving road projects in the province.

Afghan officials said they, too, had suspicions about Col. Attaullah Wahab, and suggested others in the government of Kapisa province — which has seen a surge in Taliban activity in recent months — may be corrupt and possibly in league with insurgents.

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