“While new pay scales had helped push recruitment rates since December to more than 7,000 a month, the number of recruits from among ethnic Pashtuns in southern provinces, where the Taliban insurgency is fiercest, remains only 2-3 percent of the total.
“We are not satisfied with the number of Pashtuns coming into the army from the south,” Caldwell said.
“We are trying to change the dynamics of this country, to make the southern Pashtun feel part of this nation… we are going to have to do a better job of recruiting down there,” he said.
The Pashtuns, who make up about 40 percent of Afghanistan’s population, are the predominant ethnic group in southern provinces bordering Pakistan. It is from there that the Taliban draws the vast majority of its support."
2010-03-04 03:05:37 UTC