Lt. Gen. William Caldwell’s mission in Afghanistan isn't to wipe out the Taliban. He doesn't conduct covert operations either. But when it comes to education and training, Afghans call him “the teacher of Afghanistan,” according to an Army Times story.

Caldwell is chief of the Army’s Combined Security Transition Command and the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan. That means he's in charge of manning, training and equipping the force that will keep Afghanistan moving ahead after U.S. troops leave, the story notes.

But achieving that goal isn't easy. Most Afghan recruits can’t read a manual, Army Times says, and the Taliban constantly seeks to infiltrate the ranks.

Specifically, the goal is to build an Afghan military and police force that can take conduct its own training by 2012, and take responsibility for the nation in 2014 — with some NATO troops on hand to help, the story says. Caldwell said he is confident they can meet that goal in the next year and a half.

That stronger Afghan army and police force might speed the U.S. exit, but its longevity remains to be seen, Army Times says.

Read more about Caldwell and his mission in Afghanistan by Army Times.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now