As reported last week by Rod Nordland of the New York Times, Afghanistan has begun integrating biometric identification methods at its Kabul Airport, as well as at eight of its American controlled border crossings; a program funded and supported by the American Department of Homeland Security.
Ultimately, the goal is to have every Afghanistan citizen on record with a full biometric profile of an iris scan, facial photos and all ten fingerprints. The goal is to ultimately be able to identify Watch List insurgents and handle them accordingly, dealing them a crippling blow by removing what Capt. Kevin Aandahl of the U.S. Navy called “the mask of anonymity”.
This program has been met with much criticism from Afghanistan’s occupying countries, however, as all arriving and departing travelers at the Kabul airport must biometrically enrolled, creating hours of delays and confusion as the process can take three to fifteen minutes per passenger, creating hours of delays.
As the Afghan government moves forward with their plans to launch a national biometric database, one that Homeland Security and no doubt other involved nations would have access to, the only question is whether this will truly help with the fight against terrorist insurgency.