An Afghan policeman earns around $120 a month. In return for this he is forced to do a more dangerous job than Afghan soldiers, some 1,500 policemen being killed between 2007 and 2009, three times the number of deaths suffered by the Afghan army. Compare this money and these dangers with that of a US paid consultant earning $250,000 a year -- and with the cost of his guards, accommodation and translator totalling the same amount again – lurking in his villa in Kabul. General Eikenberry is rightly sceptical about the dispatch of reinforcements to prop up a regime which is more of a racket than an administration. The troops may kill more Taliban, but they will also be their recruiting sergeants. As for the Afghan government, its ill-paid forces will not be eager to fight harder if they can get the Americans and the British to do their fighting for them.