From the beginning, it proved difficult to convince Afghan soldiers to stay in the army after training; desertion rates were high throughout the first half of the decade. In 2003 and 2004, soldiers received a mere $3 a day, while the Taliban were paying $5 to $10. Then U.S. forces gave everyone a raise. Now, the lowest-ranking Afghan soldier can earn $165 to $245 per month, while generals earn around $1,000. Here, Afghan soldiers walk pass the destroyed Darul Aman palace in Kabul on May 7.
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