Head of Afghan army wants officers to be trained at replica of college he hopes to build with support from Britain, writes Nick Hopkins for the Guardian in Kabul.
The school is a cornerstone of the British military establishment â€“ revered by those who survive it, feared by those who don’t. But Sandhurst may soon have a rival in a rather unlikely place. The head of the Afghan national army, General Sher Mohammad Karimi, wants to build a replica of the Royal Military Academy, which has been churning out officers for the British army since 1741.
Graduates including Prince William march in the Sovereign's parade at Sandhurst, in 2006. Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA
General Karimi attended Sandhurst in Camberley, Surrey, in the 1960s and has never forgotten the experiences he had there. They would have included basic training on military tactics and leadership, as well as being bawled at by sergeant majors, boot polishing and square bashing. So-called “beasting” which involves pushing cadets to their physical limits with a tough regime of cross-country runs, boxing and route marches, would also have been in operation. And this is exactly the sort of thing Karimi wants his own high-flyers to go through in an effort to bring Afghanistan’s army up to scratch.
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