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NATO: Afghan Army’s Desertion Rate Double Last Year

Lance Cpl. Dexter S. Saulisbury/U.S. Marine Corps (WASHINGTON ) -- More and more Afghan soldiers are choosing not to respond to the call to duty.

The Washington Post reports that at least one in seven Afghan soldiers walked off the job during the first half of 2011, according to NATO statistics.

More than 24,000 soldiers deserted their jobs between January and June—nearly twice as many as in the same period in 2010.

June saw 5,000 soldiers—nearly 3 percent of the 170,000-strong force—leave their positions.

Afghan and coalition officials are confident they can restore loses and reach their goal of expanding the army to about 200,000 soldiers, despite the recent rise in desertions.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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