Pentagon officials presume that the 44 Afghan troops have left their assigned bases in an effort to live and work illegally in the U.S.
According to Fox News, though the incidents are small but they raise questions about the screening process for the programmes.
Quoting Reuters, Fox said a U.S. defense official on Thursday that the frequency of Afghan troops disappearing from military training was truly concerning and “out of the ordinary.”
Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said that eight Afghan troops have left bases without permission.
“”The Defense Department is assessing ways to strengthen eligibility criteria for training in ways that will reduce the likelihood of an individual Afghan willingly absconding from training in the U.S. and going AWOL,” Stump said.
Afghans who train at U.S. military bases are vetted to make sure they don’t have a sketchy background or ties to militant groups in the Middle East, Stump added. The defense official told Reuters there was no evidence that those who vanished posed any threat to the U.S.
The military training program, which the White House has spent billions of dollars on since 2002, brings in troops from around the world to train at U.S. bases. The defense official said that while other foreign troops have ran away, Afghan troops vanishing was concerning.
When foreign troops who leave military training in the U.S. are gone for more than 24 hours, Homeland Security is notified. In one example, an Afghan trainee was caught trying to cross into Canada.