The U.S. Army is spending $157 million to hire retired detectives and other police professionals to serve with brigades and battalion in Afghanistan for the next year. This contract covers the services of retired police already in Afghanistan, and more to be hired through next December. The retired police investigators will assist combat troops and intelligence specialists to detect and identify terrorist gangs that specialize in building and placing roadside bombs and mines.
American troops operating in Afghanistan, who have served in Iraq, are not surprised to find retired policemen and detectives serving with them as civilian advisors. Hiring retired cops is somewhat new, but in Iraq, reservists who were police back home, proved to have very useful skills for ferreting out terrorists. The cops had street smarts, the ability to tell, despite the cultural differences, who was likely to be the bad guys, and how to find them.