The A.V. Club at SXSW ’10: Day 3

by Leonard Pierce & Scott Von Doviak

Camp Victory, Afghanistan

Director/Country/Time: Carol Dysinger, USA, 84 min.

Program: Documentary Features Competition

Headline: The human cost of building an army overseas.

Leonard’s Take: In order to prevent our military forces from being spread too thin—and to shed both the ugly implications and mammoth costs of a war of occupation—the U.S. exit strategy in Afghanistan depends upon building both a strong army and a respectable civilian government there. Carol Dysinger spent over three years at Camp Victory, a threadbare-looking training center where Afghan recruits—almost all raggedy youngsters looking for a decent salary—are supposed to be molded into the new model Afghan army. It’s an incredibly difficult undertaking; money is limited and unaccounted for, trainees are often illiterate and unused to any kind of military discipline, and the civilian government is unformed, leaving the military with no laws to enforce.

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