Forty-four troops from Afghanistan have gone missing in the US during training since January 2015, including eight in the last month. Reuters reported that about 2,200 Afghan troops have come to the US to receive military training—all were vetted before coming. “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 US and going AWOL,” Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump told the news agency. The number includes two Afghan Air Force students who were reported missing after they failed to report for duty last December at Moody AFB, Ga.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.