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Politics

Exclusive: visiting Afghan soldiers go AWOL in the U.S.

Opening sequence

Opening sequence

Politics

Exclusive: visiting Afghan soldiers go AWOL in the U.S.

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COMING UP:Exclusive: visiting Afghan soldiers go AWOL in the U.S.

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Transcript

00:00:01
>> Since early 2015, 44 Afghan troops training at military bases in the U.S. have disappeared. And the Pentagon is scrambling to figure out where they are and what to do about it. Correspondent Idrees Ali.>> Not only was it 44 in the past 18 months, it's been seven or eight in the past month.
00:00:19
So this September period has been really unprecedented by any standard. And we have heard from officials that basically they presume that a lot of these Afghans have basically stayed in the United States to either live or gain employment illegally. So basically they're here training, and they decided to leave the training and go AWOL, as the military calls it.
00:00:41
>> The soldiers come to the U.S. to train for the ongoing war against the Taliban, who continue to take territory more than a decade after losing control of Afghanistan.>> Troops that are brought here, in most cases, are well-qualified, are usually the most skilled ones in the Afghan army.
00:00:57
>> Afghan forces have made some gains recently with U.S. help, including retaking most of the northern city of Kunduz. But being an Afghan soldier is still no picnic.>> The issue that's really taking place here is the Afghan troops. Their morale, their leadership, and the equipment that they have just isn't up to par.
00:01:16
And we've seen this sort of resurgent Taliban. So there's, in their mind, there's a very good chance that they could be injured or be in fighting where they might be overpowered. That might explain why such a large number have decided to stay here. They're looking at what changes can be made in order to make sure this doesn't happen at such a high frequency.
00:01:34
>> A defense official telling Reuters there is no evidence any of the missing soldiers have carried out crimes or pose a threat to the United States.