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Report on Progress toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan

June 2008
Report to Congress in accordance with the 2008 National Defense Authorization Act (Section 1230, Public Law 110-181)


Section 1: Security

1.1 Counterinsurgency Strategy

The U.S. operational approach to the security component of counterinsurgency in Afghanistan is to build Afghan security capacity while degrading the capacity of the Taliban. U.S. forces work to root out insurgents while increasing the ability of the Afghans to do so on their own. Throughout Afghanistan, this is achieved through kinetic and non-kinetic efforts to separate the enemy from the local population by partnering with the ANSF and engaging Afghan leaders. Shuras, key leader engagements, medical engagements, humanitarian aid missions, and combined presence patrols provide a venue for ANSF forces to interact with the general population and discuss needs for local improvements. These missions work to create trust between the local populace, Afghan leadership, ANSF, and ISAF forces. As trust increases, support for the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, (GIRoA), the ANP, and the ANA evolves proportionately. Afghan civilians are beginning to report enemy activity including improvised explosive device (IED) emplacements, suspicious activity, and potential future attacks. In an effort to gain the support of the populace and demonstrate the superior governance capabilities of the GIRoA as opposed to the Taliban, ANSF and international forces have increased governance outreach and development activities.

1.2 Nature of the Threat

In 2008, there is the potential for two distinct insurgencies in Afghanistan; a Kandahari-based insurgency dominated by the Taliban in the south and a more complex, adaptive insurgency in the east. The eastern insurgency is a loose confederation of affiliates such as the Haqqani Network and like-minded groups that are prepared to cooperate with the Taliban’s Kandahari-based insurgency. These groups include al-Qaeda, Hizb-e Islami Gulbuddin, and Pakistani militant groups Jaish-e Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, Tehrik Nefaz-i-Shariat Muhammad. Their shared goals include the expulsion of all foreign military forces from Afghanistan, the elimination of external government influence in their respective areas, and the imposition of a religiously conservative, Pashtun-led government.

A principal strength of the Taliban-led Kandahari insurgency is its ability to regenerate combat power by leveraging tribal networks, exploiting lack of governance and the Afghan peoples’ inherent resistance to change and outside influence. The Taliban’s strategy hinges on their ability to prevent the Afghan government and ISAF from achieving victory, and the international community eventually losing the will to tactically intervene in the counterinsurgency effort. The insurgency’s critical capabilities are its ability to project strength and a mystique of the inevitability of Taliban rule that is constantly sustained through a focused information effort; in other words, not losing is winning.

A principal vulnerability of both the Taliban-led Kandarhari and Eastern Insurgencies is that, beyond forcibly imposing Sharia-modeled law and order, they are unable to deliver to the Afghan people sustainable governance or development of commercial infrastructure. Both insurgencies are anticipatory in nature and maximize every opportunity to separate the Afghan population from the GIRoA. The insurgencies are powerless to provide development and they lack the capacity to meet the basic needs of the citizens of Afghanistan; however, it is worth noting that this limitation did not prevent the original Taliban from controlling, through force of arms, the majority of the country in the late 1990s. The preponderance of both insurgencies’ influence stems from the use of fear and intimidation tactics. As a result of these efforts, in the minds of the Afghan people, insurgent forces are cognitively becoming separated from the respected mujahidin fighters that defeated the Soviets and sustained Afghans for decades.

Figure 1 - Distribution of Attacks in Afghanistan by Province

Violence increased in Afghanistan in 2007. A significant factor in the increase in violence was aggressive Afghan and international force tactics combined with insurgent recognition that, while they cannot defeat Afghan and international forces on the battlefield, they can harm political will by increasing casualties. Violence may also have increased because Afghan and international forces are asserting control over a greater area in increased numbers, thus increasing their exposure to insurgent attacks.

Attack levels alone are not always a good indicator of the security situation. Even in areas where insurgent activity is high, Afghan and international forces often have the full support of the local population. Khowst Province again provides a success story. In this eastern province the level enemy activity and attacks remains relatively high, but most of the population lives without fear, trusting the government to keep them safe.

The success of Afghan and international forces in military engagements has led insurgents to increase asymmetric attacks. As such, IED attacks are on the rise. IED incidents reached a high of 2,615 incidents in 2007, up from 1,931 in 2006. Counter-IED training is an important part of U.S. and ISAF efforts to improve security in the country. It includes curriculum that the NATO Operational Mentoring and Liaison Teams (OMLTs) and Embedded Training Teams (ETTs) deliver when training members of the ANA. Although the number of IED attacks increased in 2007 over 2006, so did the number of IEDs that were discovered and pre-detonated, as well as those that were reported by local citizens.

The success of the GIRoA in meeting the needs of the population and winning their allegiance has been uneven and sometimes temporary. In many provinces and districts, the government’s failure to connect effectively with the people of the country and provide security and prosperity has provided an opening for the Taliban to successfully install shadow governments that provide basic security against lawlessness. The Taliban is likely to continue efforts to emplace shadow governments in order to enhance local control by insurgent forces, undermine the authority of district and provincial level officials appointed by Kabul, and present a locally acceptable alternative to the Karzai government. Due to the nature of insurgencies, estimates of their numbers are inherently unreliable and there is no agreed-upon figure from the Intelligence Community. Therefore, no estimate is included in this report.1

1.3 North Atlantic Treaty Organization International Security Assistance Force

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has overall command of the battlespace in Afghanistan. Commanded by a 4-star U.S. Army officer, all military guidance for ISAF forces is communicated from Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) and the Joint Forces Command (JFC) Brunssum. The international strategic direction has been approved by the North Atlantic Council (NAC). U.S. forces assigned to ISAF operate in support of ISAF plans and operations, and are under the operational control of Commander, International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF). The bulk of U.S. forces assigned to ISAF operate in Regional Command (RC) East. The United States contributes approximately 19,000 of the 47,000 personnel in ISAF. An assessment of United States Military requirements, including planned force rotation for the three-month period following the date of the report can be found in the monthly “Boots-on-the-Ground” Reports submitted to Congress in accordance with Public Law 110-116. Force rotations beyond the three-month period following April 2008 will be conditions-based and hence cannot be provided with reasonable accuracy.

1.3.1 Efforts to Encourage NATO ISAF Countries to Fulfill Commitments

A top U.S. government priority is to ensure that ISAF countries provide all required forces as determined by NATO military authorities in the agreed Combined Joint Statement of Requirements (CJSOR). The ISAF commander must have the forces and flexibility necessary to accomplish the mission of assisting the GIRoA in the establishment and maintenance of a safe and secure environment and the extension of its authority in order to facilitate reconstruction and development. Although CJSOR shortfalls remain, especially for maneuver battalions, helicopters, and OMLTs, all 26 Allies and 14 non-NATO partners are contributing in important ways to the ISAF mission. ISAF has increased from approximately 31,000 personnel in November 2006, to approximately 47,000 personnel today. This number is expected to increase in 2008.

In order to help Allies shore up domestic political support for increased resources in Afghanistan, the U.S. focused efforts on the development of a Comprehensive Political Military Strategic Plan for ISAF to explain how Allied security is directly linked to stability in Afghanistan and to lay out a vision to guide ISAF’s role in Afghanistan over the next five years. This Comprehensive Political Military Strategic Plan was agreed to by the Heads of State and Government from Allied and other troop-contributing nations at Bucharest in March 2008. In the Comprehensive Political Military Strategic Plan, Allies agreed that Afghanistan is the Alliance’s key priority. The Comprehensive Political Military Strategic Plan incorporates four guiding principles:

    • a firm and shared long-term commitment;

    • support for enhanced Afghan leadership and responsibility;

    • a comprehensive approach by the international community, bringing together civilian and military efforts; and

    • increased cooperation and engagement with Afghanistan’s neighbors, especially Pakistan.

Among the pledges of support at the Bucharest Summit, France announced that it will send approximately 700 additional troops to eastern Afghanistan. This will permit the U.S. to assign more troops to the south where Canadian forces have been engaged in combat operations against Taliban forces. Also at Bucharest, Russia agreed to permit ISAF nations to transit through Russia to resupply ISAF forces in Afghanistan. Since the Bucharest Summit, a number of other countries have pledged additional resources to ISAF. For example, Poland has agreed to send 400 additional troops and eight helicopters. Several nations, such as Romania, Italy, and Greece, have agreed to provide additional OMLTs.

A key component of ISAF operations is assisting in the training and equipping the ANA. The ANA has approximately 52,000 troops engaged in or leading major operations alongside ISAF forces. ISAF partners have fielded or pledged 36 OMLTs to help build a more effective ANA. However, this still falls short of the total OMLTs required. Thirteen ISAF nations have donated equipment to the ANA through NATO, and a trust fund has been established to cover transportation and installation costs for the donated equipment. An indication of the increasing professionalism and capabilities of the ANA, President Karzai announced at Bucharest that the ANA plans to assume security responsibility for Kabul in August 2008.

1.3.2 National Caveats on NATO/ISAF Forces

The U.S. government has consistently emphasized the importance of giving commanders in the field the maximum possible flexibility to ensure that they can accomplish their mission in the fastest possible timeframe, while minimizing risk and loss of life. Just over half of the Allies in ISAF have some form of caveats on the geographical and/or functional deployment of their forces. Some Allies have no written caveats on their forces, but operate with de facto restrictions that can be even more severe than caveats. Therefore, rather than focus exclusively on caveats, the U.S. has pressed all Allies and partners to provide commanders on the ground with the maximum possible flexibility in terms of when, where, and how they utilize forces under their command. The most significant and commonly cited caveats are restrictions that keep some troops currently in the north, west, and in Kabul from moving to Regional Command-South without prior approval from their respective nations’ capitals. The United States takes advantage of every opportunity to urge Allies to lift these restrictions.

1.4 Operations

Within the primary operational area for U.S. forces – Regional Command East – operational tempo and the ability to extend the reach of ISAF forces increased two-fold with the addition of a second Brigade Combat Team in early 2007. U.S. forces took part in full-spectrum operations, often with ANSF in the lead. Keeping in line with the overall strategy of clear, hold, and build, the increased security paved the way for improved local government and economic growth.

Additionally, CJTF-822 established Border Security Posts, Combat Out-Posts, and Forward Operating Bases along known insurgent routes and support areas. This expanded ISAF and ANSF presence probably contributed to the increase in enemy attacks from 2006 to 2007.

1.4.1 Civilian Casualties

The increase in civilian casualties is largely due to a shift in insurgent focus to operations in populated areas, and the use of indiscriminant asymmetric attacks. A series of well-publicized events during the spring and summer of 2007 highlighted the negative consequences of civilian casualties caused by combat operations in Afghanistan. The willingness of the Afghan populace to support international forces and the GIRoA is directly proportional to their trust and confidence in those forces. The support of the Afghan people is essential to the security, reconstruction, and governance of the country.

In response to increasing civilian casualties in the country Admiral Fallon, former Commander of U.S. Central Command; General McNeill, COMISAF; and General Ramms (Commander, Joint Forces Command–Brunssum) published a series of complementary guidance outlining the problems, challenges, and unintended consequences of civilian casualties, and provided explicit direction to all commanders and the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen under their command on how to limit those casualties. The published guidance directed that, while not limiting the right of self defense, responses to enemy actions must clearly demonstrate proportionality, requisite restraint, and the utmost discrimination in the application of firepower.

1.5 Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF)

The long-term goal for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is to build and develop a force that is nationally respected; professional; ethnically balanced; democratically accountable; organized, trained, and equipped to meet the security needs of the country; and funded from the GIRoA budget. Security is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving economic and social development in Afghanistan. The ANA and the ANP represent two critical elements for establishing that security.

The mission of the Combined Security Transition Command–Afghanistan (CSTC-A) is to plan, program and implement structural, organizational, institutional, and management reforms of the ANSF in order to develop a stable Afghanistan, strengthen the rule of law, and deter and defeat terrorism within its borders. CSTC-A receives funding through the Afghan Security Forces Fund (ASFF) to equip, train, and sustain the ANSF. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 budget request delineates the program objectives aimed at enabling ANSF independent operations. These objectives include improved enablers, logistics operations, infrastructure, training, pay programs, medical facilities, and equipment.

The FY 2008 ASFF request totaled $2.7 billion, including $1,711 billion for the ANA, $980 million for the ANP, and $9.6 million for detainee operations. For the ANA, these funds will equip and sustain the 70,000-person 14 brigade force in 2008; upgrade garrisons and support facilities; enhance ANA intelligence capabilities; and expand education and training, including the National Military Academy, counter-improvised explosive device (CIED) training, mobile training teams, branch qualification courses, and literacy and English language programs. For the ANP, these funds will increase CIED, communications, intelligence training; purchase additional equipment, weapons, and ammunition to respond to insurgent threats; enhance ANP intelligence capabilities; set conditions for interoperability with ANA to respond to events; enhance border surveillance; add basic health clinics in select provinces to improve casualty treatment; and expand field medic and combat life support training. Because the operational and security realities in Afghanistan are constantly changing, it is not possible to make a reliable estimate of the long-term costs and budget requirements for developing the ANSF.

1.5.1 ANSF Desired End-Strength

Despite achievements in Afghanistan, security threats and corruption remain a major impediment to overall development. The security environment continues to be fluid, demanding continual reexamination and assessment of requirements for the end-strength of the ANSF. The 2001 Bonn Agreement established the goal of a 70,000-person ANA and 62,000-person ANP. The Afghanistan Compact in January 2006 confirmed those target end-strengths. Security conditions necessitated a reexamination of ANSF end-strength. Consequently, in May 2007, the international community’s Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board (JCMB) endorsed an increase to 82,000 authorized ANP. Similarly, with the endorsement of the JCMB on February 5, 2008, the authorized ANA force structure increased to 80,000 personnel, with an additional 6,000 allotted for the trainee, transient, hospitalized, and student account.

We are currently examining whether this new end-state is adequate for Afghanistan’s needs. The long-term ANSF posture may also include a more robust Afghan National Army Air Corps (ANAAC) capability and a larger army. However, additional analysis, study, and consideration must be given to the sustainability and available financial support for such efforts.

1.5.2 ANSF Recruiting and Retention

Actions to improve ANSF’s national recruiting system and the Afghan vetting process continue. The current procedures for processing applications and conducting cursory background checks for the ANSF are explained for the ANA and ANP in their respective sections. However, additional measures and more sophisticated processes are currently being pursued.

The ANSF is working to implement identification (ID) cards and biometrics. A national ID program will incorporate equipment issue, pay, promotion and tracking and accountability from accession to attrition using an accurate record management system for the ANP force structure. Current efforts include integration of the ID card’s barcode system into the pay system of the ANP. The ANA implemented an ID card system and an automated database in April 2006. Similarly, the ANSF are embarking on a long-term, state-of-the-art biometric collection and database program that will provide both the Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Ministry of Interior (MoI) a capability to positively identify all Afghan soldiers and police. The integrated database of fingerprints, iris scan, and facial photos will be jointly maintained by ANA and ANP biometric analysts that are currently being identified and trained over the next three years. Another group of ANA and ANP officers are being trained as collectors who will be positioned at ANSF initial entry sites across Afghanistan. The biometric technology is scalable and will allow the GIRoA to expand the program to other segments of the government should Afghan leaders choose to do so.

CSTC-A’s leadership is involved in efforts towards developing overall awareness of current retention rates and programs to offer re-contracting options. CSTC-A has enlisted the help of key MoI staff members to promote re-contracting of separating personnel. Measures taken with the MoD include staff assistance visits to the Corps and training by the MoD Re-contracting Officer. In January 2008, the Assistant Minister of Defense for Personnel and Education revised the re-contracting regulation to require Company to Corps-level Commanders to project separation dates at least 12 months out and perform regular career counseling with all soldiers and NCOs.

The ANSF has pursued monetary bonuses to incentivize enlistment and re-enlistment, specifically directed at the Commandos in the ANA and Afghan Border Police (ABP) in the ANP. Commandos currently receive an additional $30/month incentive pay. Additional proposed initiatives are under financial review for the ABP including a sign-on bonus, retention bonus, and hostile fire or imminent danger pay. More detailed efforts regarding recruiting and retention in the ANA and ANP are described in the relevant sections that follow.

1.5.3 Afghan National Army (ANA)

The ANA is subordinate to the Ministry of Defense (MoD), and is divided into five regional corps and an emerging air corps. The 201st Corps operates in RC Central. The 203rd Corps operates in RC-East. The 205th Corps operates in RC-South. The 207th Corps operates in RC-West. The 209th Corps operates in RC-North. Currently, the army serves as an infantry force operating alongside international forces under the command of the Chief of the General Staff, General Bismullah Khan.

Each corps is divided into brigades comprising three infantry kandaks (battalions), one combat support kandak, and one combat service support kandak. Additionally, commando kandaks are in the process of being formed. These elite units are currently attached to regional corps, pending establishment of a commando brigade headquarters.

Figure 2 - Alignment of ANSF Regional Commands ANA Desired End-Strength

By the end of 2008, the GIRoA plans to field a total of 70,000 ANA personnel. An additional 10,000 personnel are expected to be fielded by the end of 2009. Continued training, mentoring, and development will be required beyond this timeframe. As stated above, the long-term ANA posture potentially may include a more robust ANAAC capability and a larger force; however, additional analysis, study, and consideration must be given to the security environment, sustainability, and available financial support. The current program calls for a light infantry force of 15 brigades, including artillery, armor, commando, combat support, combat service support, an air corps, and the requisite intermediate commands and sustaining institutions. ANA Training and Mentoring Efforts

Training the ANA begins with individual training. The soldier training process begins with careful, needs-based recruiting followed by initial entry training (IET) at the Basic Warrior Training Course (BWT), supervised by international trainers. ANA basics are taught to an objective standard uniformly applied throughout the force. The BWT provides the foundation, but the individual soldier’s capabilities are strengthened through branch-specific Advanced Combat Training. Although the priority of fielding a viable force has necessitated training initially focused on infantry and other combat-specific branches, training for support specialties has also developed.

Immediately following a new unit’s fielding and arrival at its Corps and brigade area, it undergoes a 60-day period of individual and collective training before being put into the rotation for combat operations. Combat and security operations continue to round out ANA development. Each ANA combat unit is accompanied by either a U.S. Embedded Training Team (ETT) or a NATO ISAF OMLT. These teams provide comprehensive mentoring across the full spectrum of operations. Specifically, the teams provide the ANA unit leadership with advisory support on all unit functions and direct access to U.S. and ISAF resources and enablers to enhance the ability of the ANA to operate effectively and independently. They also serve as role models and key liaisons between ANA and international forces. The OMLTs and ETTs coach unit staffs and commanders and assist them in the development of their training programs, logistics and administrative systems, planning, and employment in operations. ETTs and OMLTs also facilitate the assessment of ANA units, helping the ANA identify strengths, shortfalls, and opportunities for improvement.

As of March 2008, U.S. ETTs require a total of 2,391 personnel; however, only 1,062 are currently assigned (44 percent fill). The low fill-rate is due to the additional requirement to provide support to the ANP though Police Mentor Teams (PMTs). Full PMT manning requires 2,358 total military personnel. Currently, 921 personnel are assigned (39 percent fill). Sourcing solutions are being worked to address the shortfall of personnel across the ETT and PMT requirements. Afghanistan deployment requirements are being weighed against other global manning priorities. When additional forces become available to fill these critical personnel requirements, they will be resourced against the ETT/PMT requirements. For now, the Focused District Development (FDD) program, described below, aims to help mitigate the shortages of the mentors for the ANP. In addition, more than 3,400 Marines are deploying to Afghanistan. Of these, approximately 1,200 Marines will conduct ANP training missions in nine Afghanistan districts. These Marines are deploying as a temporary risk mitigation measure due to the global shortage of military trainers. Since the need for continued ANP mentorship in those districts will remain following the Marine redeployment in the fall, the enduring requirement for 1,400 additional ANP mentors remains.

In addition to the ETTs and PMTs, NATO OMLTs are also providing critical guidance and mentorship to the ANA. As of March 2008, there are a total of 31 validated OMLTs out of a NATO commitment to provide 71. In many instances, ANA combat units are assigned an ISAF partner unit during combat operations. In general, those ANA units with international partner units have shown a marked increase in their capability to provide security in their areas. However, it should be noted that some Afghan commanders have shown great initiative and improvement without the benefit of an international partner. ANA Recruiting and Retention

The ANA continues to make significant progress in recruiting and retention and all indicators point to decreasing rates of absence without leave (AWOL) and an increased ability to curb absenteeism. The past year has surpassed the previous four years in ANA recruitment. The ANA recruited 32,135 soldiers in the year leading up to March 2008. Annual recruitment numbers for the previous four years, beginning with the most recent, are: 21,287; 11,845; 15,790; and 9,671.

The year-to-date re-enlistment average in the fielded ANA is 50 percent for soldiers and 56 percent for NCOs. Factors that challenge re-enlistment include the desire for larger salaries, better leadership, and to be stationed closer to family.

In February 2008, the ANA had an 8.4 percent absentee rate. This is down from 12 percent at the height of summer. The three corps most consistently in contact with insurgents and anti-government elements had the highest AWOL rates, but on average they experienced less than 10 percent AWOL over the past year. This decrease in AWOL rates has contributed directly to an increase of 20,000 in ANA end-strength since January 2007. This increase in end strength coupled with a deliberate effort to staff combat units fully and overfill entry-level soldier authorizations should further mitigate problems of absenteeism. During the past year, overall AWOL rates in ANA combat forces have decreased three percent as compared to the previous year. With increasing emphasis on pay and incentives, better facilities and training, better leadership, and more robustly manned units, AWOL trends can be expected to continue to decrease in the coming year.

The personnel accession and vetting process is the same for both ANA and ANP and follows the 3-step process described below. All vetting of candidates to serve in the ANSF meets the requirements of the law prohibiting military assistance to units or individuals known to have committed human rights abuses. The ANA commissar at the National Army Volunteer Center (NAVC) is the approval authority for both the ANA and ANP.

Step 1: The applicant provides 12 passport photos and secures a national identification card from the district. This is verified by the Governor or another designated individual. Recruits must be between 18 and 35 years-old. Age waivers are considered based on the applicant’s qualification.

Step 2: The applicant sees a recruiter at Provincial HQ and completes a contract. An escort guides them through the screening process which examines health and criminal records, as well as other relevant background information. The applicant must get two village elders to sign the form vouching for the recruit’s character. The form must also be signed by an official at the district center. All documents are then taken by the escort to the ANA Commissar HQ for verification and signature.

Step 3: Medical screening is conducted at the commissar’s office. All documents go back to the sub-governor for signature. Ultimately, the Ministry of the Interior or the Ministry of Defense reviews all the documentation and then notifies the Provincial authorities of acceptance by issuing the directive to commence training.

The ANA has also implemented an additional level of review for potential ANA recruits. An Afghan who requests to join the Army is given a form to complete at the recruiting center. The recruit’s name is then added to a list that is circulated among various MoD offices, including the ANA General Staff G2, for a rudimentary background check. ANA Salary and Pay

Recruiting and retention initiatives have been boosted by steps taken to standardize and institute a competitive pay scale. The following chart depicts the current monthly, 25-year base salary plan for members of the ANA.

Table 1 - 25-Year Base Pay Plan (ANA) ANA Equipment

The three infantry companies in each kandak are equipped with former Warsaw Pact rifles, light and heavy machine guns, and rocket propelled grenade launchers. The weapons company in each kandak provides anti-armor capability with SPG-9 recoilless rifles and indirect fire with 82mm mortars. Plans are in place to effect a transition to NATO standard weapons. CSTC-A is currently converting the ANA from the AK-47 to the M16 (or the Canadian version, the C7). Later in 2008, the ANA will begin converting to U.S. model light and medium machine guns and 81mm mortars.

Each brigade has an artillery battery consisting of eight former Warsaw Pact D-30 howitzers. Currently, 82 of the 132 required are functional. CSTC-A has contracted to have the howitzers assessed for complete refurbishment and conversion to facilitate NATO standard interoperability.

One ANA brigade is designed to include a mechanized kandak and an armor kandak. These units are currently equipped with BMPs (amphibious infantry fighting vehicles) and T-62 main battle tanks in various states of functionality. Procurement and donation options are currently being studied to upgrade this capability.

The ANA’s primary vehicle is the light tactical vehicle (LTV), a Ford Ranger truck. CSTC-A has procured more than 4,100 up-armored high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles (HMMWVs) (M1151/M1152) to be fielded beginning this summer. These HMMWVs will displace many of the LTVs, particularly in the combat battalions, to provide a protected mobility capability.

The ANAAC currently consists of the following aircraft: seven medium cargo airplanes (five AN-32s and two AN-26s) and thirteen helicopters (nine MI-17s and four MI-35s). The ANAAC will eventually include reconnaissance and light attack air-to-ground fixed wing aircraft. By December 2008, the inventory will include an additional fifteen MI-17s, six MI-35s, and two AN-32s. Four out of a total of twenty C-27s are being procured for delivery. ANA Assessment

ANA unit readiness is gradually improving. The numbers and readiness status provided below are based on an 80,000 ANA structure comprised of 85 battalions/squadrons organized into 14 combat brigades, 5 Corps headquarters (HQ) and 1 Air Corp HQ.

As of March 2008, the ANA reported one battalion and 1 Corps HQ as rated at Capability Milestone (CM) 1: capable of operating independently. Twenty-six battalions/squadrons, five brigade HQs, and two Corps HQs were reported at the CM2 level: capable of planning, executing, and sustaining counterinsurgency operations at the battalion level with international support. Twenty-six battalions/squadrons, five brigade HQs, two Corps HQs, and one Air Corps HQ were reported at the CM3: partially capable of conducting counterinsurgency operations at the company level with support from international forces. Ten battalions/squadrons and one brigade HQ are reported at CM4: formed but not yet capable of conducting primary operational missions. Finally, there are twenty-two battalions/squadrons and three brigade HQ that are still not formed or reporting.

An overall assessment of the ANA officer corps effectiveness from the kandak- to Corps- level is positive and ANA officers continue to work to improve their professionalism. National illiteracy rates remain high, but the members of the officer corps are required to have basic reading and writing abilities and plans are being made to improve the education level of the officer corps. Overall, officers are proficient at the tactical level though not yet fully mature in operational and strategic concepts. The majority of the officers, and most importantly the very senior officers, believe in the concept of a national military. They are starting to use the military decision-making process and to provide information and decision briefs to their superiors. The chain of command works well when exercised, and there is strict adherence to direction from higher ranks.

Although there is no credible reporting on estimated numbers or percentages of insurgents infiltrating the ANA, there are multiple reports of insurgent intent to do so, as well as occasional reports of ANA personnel collaborating with and/or assisting insurgents. These reports usually mention ANA personnel providing insurgents with information and supplies or collaborating with insurgent operations. However, we assess that these isolated reports of collaboration are often the result of insurgent threats and intimidation against ANA members in high-threat regions or criminal economic ventures on the part of ANA members as opposed to actual insurgent penetration of the organization. There have been two incidents of ANA soldiers shooting U.S. soldiers; both ANA soldiers involved in these incidents had reportedly been influenced by insurgents while home on leave, but we assess that these cases were probably more opportunistic in nature than contrived attempts at infiltration. We are also aware of several ANA members who are reportedly under investigation by Afghan authorities for being hostile agents.

However, we have no indications that these authorities have established proof of guilt. Although we are certain that there are cases of successful insurgent infiltration of ANA units, we assess that the current level of ANA infiltration is not operationally significant.

The current assigned strength of the ANA as of February 2008 stood at just over 49,000 personnel across 63 kandaks and three commando kandaks, with a planned expansion of one kandak (roughly 600 personnel) every month. This population allows two of the five Corps to field nearly all of their subordinate units and join their international partners in some of the most contentious areas of RC East and South. After gaining experience in partnered U.S. operations, the 201st and 203rd Corps have taken the lead and are now capable of independent operations at the company level. Fifty percent of the kandaks in these Corps maintain steady state operations independently and plan future operations. Last fall, the 203rd Corps staff increased capacity sufficiently to plan and execute a brigade level operation with U.S. and other international forces in a supporting role. The 201st and 203rd Corps engineers conducted bridging operations with international engineer units repairing and replacing bridges through the summer and fall allowing greater development in those areas. The ANA have started basic explosive ordnance disposal and counter IED training, expanding their capability to counteract one of the enemy’s most important weapons against the ANSF.

The Afghanistan National Military Command Center is able to host weekly video teleconferences (VTCs) with its Corps across the country with newly installed communications equipment. This is improving national headquarters command and control and allowing for better adjacent unit coordination between the Corps. Additionally, both ANA Corps in RC East are leading their own Regional Security Committee Meetings—actively coordinating ANA, ANP and National Directorate for Security (NDS) operations with the international forces. These meetings allow for a common intelligence and operational picture among the ANP, ANA and NDS, which facilitates shared goals and objectives in developing a stable security environment. The 201st Corps Commander has effectively organized provincial governor meetings within his three brigade zones, complementing security efforts with local governance and development efforts.

The ANA commando program continues to advance. The first kandaks demonstrate great resolve under fire, a capacity for tactical patience, and the capability for precision operations well above their conventional counterparts. The 201st Corps commando kandak continues to make progress toward autonomous company-level operations. They have conducted six different missions as part of larger ANA and ISAF operations, a no-notice operation with other U.S. and ISAF Special Forces, and an independent company level operation. The 203rd commando kandak conducted its first combat operation in December 2007. ANA Air Corps (ANAAC) capacity and capabilities also grew in 2007. They are now executing re-supply missions, troop movements and humanitarian assistance operations. The ANA Air Corps increased flight time from 100 hours per month to 140 hours per month; a 40 percent capacity increase. The Air Corps earned recognition and is credited with saving more than 1,200 lives by performing flood relief missions. The relief missions built the ANAAC’s confidence in its own abilities as well as the confidence of the populace in the Air Corps. In December 2007, the ANAAC flew missions for the first time as an integrated part of a CJTF-82 Aviation Task Force aerial formation. These missions were the result of a year-long mentorship between Task Force (TF) Pegasus and the ANAAC. In January 2008, the ANAAC conducted a medical evacuation test of concept that will further build capacity to conduct independent operations. This operation allowed the ANAAC to move patients from Craig Military Hospital at Bagram Airfield to the ANA National Military Hospital in Kabul and proved the ANAAC to be an independent and strong partner for international forces during medical evacuations.

1.5.4 Afghan National Police (ANP)

ANP capabilities still lag behind those of the ANA. The current ANP force has not been sufficiently reformed or developed to a level at which it can adequately perform its security and policing mission. Generally, police development has been hindered by lack of institutional reform, corruption, insufficient trainers and advisors, and a lack of unity of effort within the international community. Recently, CSTC-A, in coordination with the GIRoA, the Department of State, and other international partners, implemented the Focused District Development (FDD) initiative enabling a concentrated effort to reform the Afghan Uniform Police. Full implementation of the FDD program under the current force structure is expected to take several years. Section of this report provides a more detailed description of the FDD program. ANP Desired End State

The target for the ANP is to build a reformed force of 82,000 personnel that is capable of operating countrywide. The ANP consists of the Afghan Uniform Police (AUP), the Afghan Civil Order Police (ANCOP), the Afghan Border Police (ABP), Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA), and additional specialized police including criminal investigation, counter-terrorism, and customs. The roles of the various police services span a wide spectrum of policing, law enforcement, and security functions:

    • The AUP serve at the regional, provincial, and district levels. The AUP’s activities are focused on patrols, crime prevention, traffic, and general policing. They are intended to spread the rule of law throughout the country and provide a response capability for local security incidents.

    • The ANCOP is a highly skilled, specialized police force. It is split into rural and urban units, and trained and equipped to counter civil unrest and lawlessness. ANCOP units provide law enforcement and civil control, conduct operations in areas where government control may be weak, and support counterinsurgency operations. Eight of the 19 ANCOP battalions are currently fielded and are performing exceptionally well, both in their support of FDD, and in their primary role as the national quick reaction force in troubled areas. ANCOP are formed as units, receive sixteen weeks of institutional training followed by another eight weeks of PMT-supervised collective training. All reports on this new national police force have indicated a solid performance in operations to dismantle illegal checkpoints, seize illegal weapons, and retake lost districts. In the locations where ANCOP has deployed, it has successfully conducted counterinsurgency operations and secured the trust and confidence of the people.

    • The ABP provides broad law enforcement capabilities at borders and entry points to deter the illegal entry of people and material as well as other criminal activity. The ABP has been challenged by the fact that they have received the least attention, funding, and training. This has caused them to lag behind their AUP counterparts. They are currently manned at levels below 50 percent in many areas, are poorly equipped, and under-resourced. However, efforts to build the force and to fill available training slots during FDD will continue to build the ABP, albeit at a slower rate than the AUP. The majority of the ABP facilities along the border is run down and lacks basic necessities. As of December 2007, CSTC-A approved new company and kandak locations for the 2008-2009 build plan and will begin construction of these locations in the summer of 2008 with an expected completion date later in 2009.

    • The CNPA is the lead agency charged with reducing narcotics production and distribution in Afghanistan.

The Afghan National Auxiliary Police (ANAP) supplements the AUP at the district level. This bridging force receives two weeks of initial training and will attend follow-on three week sustainment training or may attend the same eight weeks of training that uniform police receive in their basic training. The ANAP will cease to exist by the end of 2008. Those members that have served for at least one year, have undergone five weeks of training, and have received a recommendation from their district chief will transition to the AUP.

Once comprehensive assessments can be made on the effects of recently begun reform efforts, ANP strength will be reassessed to determine if additional police forces are required. Currently, a lack of trainers and mentors precludes the acceleration or expansion of reform and mentoring efforts. Through the FDD, current reform and mentoring efforts are principally focused on the AUP. The AUP are closest to the population and are therefore the most immediate face of the Afghan government. ANP Training and Mentoring

The AUP at the district level require significantly more coaching and mentoring than the ANA to ensure that all police units are operating according to national standards and procedures as established by the Ministry of the Interior. Unlike the ANA, police forces are not fielded as units. All policemen must be trained as individuals. The objective for ANP training is a minimum of initial entry training (IET) for all new recruits. When training capacity meets demand, it may be possible to tie police pay to training, thereby adding incentive for immediate training attendance.

Current training capacity cannot meet demand and many untrained policemen remain in the force. Efforts to expand the training capacity to meet demand should make it feasible to require IET for all police recruits in approximately three years. Currently, individual training is conducted at seven Regional Training Centers (RTCs), a Central Training Center, and the Kabul Police Academy. The State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) uses a private contactor to provide civilian police training and program design at the training centers and to provide field-based mentors. Courses provided at the training centers include the basic 8-week course for all new and entry-level police; the intermediate-level 5-week Transition Integration Program; the 16-week ANCOP program (inclusive of basic and specialized training); and specialized courses in firearms, criminal investigative division, instructor development, field training, tactical training, medic training, and train-the-trainer instruction. From 2003 to 2008, more than 149,000 trainees have gone through basic, intermediate, advanced and specialized training at the training centers. Building Afghan police training capacity has been a priority. Civilian police mentors build train-the-trainer capacity for Afghan instructors, who in turn provide instruction to Afghan trainees.

To further increase training capacity, CSTC-A and INL have established an ANCOP Training Center with a capacity of 800 students per class, and are also planning for a National Police Training Center, which is expected to achieve initial operating capability later in 2008. This center will have an eventual capacity of 2,000 policemen. When operational, the National Police Training Center will make it possible for all new police to attend IET prior to assumption of duties.

The CSTC-A training program, while recognizing that policemen do not operate in “units,” as does the ANA, seeks to build cohesive, effective police organizations. CSTC-A, in conjunction with TF Phoenix and the Department of State, mentors police at all levels, although the program does not currently reach all police locations. The objective is to provide a U.S. military Police Mentor Teams (PMTs) mentor team staffed with civilian police advisors to each AUP police district, each provincial and regional headquarters, each ABP company and battalion, and each ANCOP company and battalion. However, the shortage of PMTs affects CSTC-A’s ability to increase and improve ANP training and mentoring. Each PMT is composed primarily of military members that provide training support, maintenance, logistics, and administrative coaching; encourage professionalism; and serve as liaisons with international forces as required. Each team includes two civilian police mentors. Mentor teams focus on a particular function and their efforts are tailored to develop skills, capacity and professionalism in these areas.

The final element of every PMT is a security force. The majority of formal training should be provided under the guidance of qualified civilian police advisors at one of the eight training centers. However, due to the security situation, police training is most often provided by military personnel with civilian or military police experience. There is no area of Afghanistan that permits independent mentorship by civilian police or very small PMTs. Mentoring of the ANP must occur locally in 364 districts spread throughout Afghanistan. The broad geographic scope of the ANP necessitates additional mentoring forces and equipment to adequately provide coaching, training and mentoring oversight. With 365 districts, 46 city police precincts, 34 provinces, five regions, 19 ANCOP battalions, 33 ABP battalions, and 135 ABP companies, CSTC-A is currently able to provide PMTs to no more than one-fourth of all ANP organizations and units.

More than 500 civilian police trainers and mentors are deployed – in some cases with PMTs – to regional, provincial and district locations in nearly every province. Currently in RC East, a dedicated mentor team is located at every provincial headquarters and at select district level headquarters. Partnership for the police forces is facilitated through multiple avenues. For instance, in RC East, CSTC-A maintains the mentorship role and CJTF-82 conducts partnership activities with the ANP. Focused District Development (FDD) Program

The Focused District Development (FDD) program is a pilot initiative that addresses the critical development requirements of the ANP in each district, while also allowing for a strong reform program. The training and mentoring provided through FDD will build the AUP as a reformed service loyal to the Afghan people and Afghan national interests. As the primary government interface with the Afghan people, an effective AUP is critical to the extension of the rule of law and to building trust in the institution of the police among the general populace. Accordingly, FDD concentrates resources on the district-level AUP. A reformed, more effective police force that can improve security in an area can facilitate the realization of other desired outcomes.

The first part of the FDD process is an assessment of the district by a District Assessment and Reform Team, composed of a PMT, several representatives of the MoI and other Afghan government ministries, and, in some cases, other international partners (especially Canada and the United Kingdom). This assessment leads to selection and vetting of new leaders as required, recruiting to authorized levels, and building of equipment inventories, as well as assessments of facilities, status of the rule of law, the district police’s relationship with the local leaders, and overall professional effectiveness. Once the assessment is complete, an ANCOP unit is deployed to the district to relieve the local AUP forces. The AUP forces then report to the RTCs to begin eight weeks of reconstitution. This reconstitution period includes three different levels of training (i.e., new entrants, advanced, and officer leader and management training), biometric processing and identification card issue, pay records establishment, full equipping, leader reinforcement training, and continual ethics reinforcement. The AUP participating in the RTC training programs receive daily mentorship from PMTs. The PMT remains with the reformed police after the eight week reconstitution phase to continue collective training and mentoring in the district, ensuring the police put into practice the key individual and collective competencies as well as the ethical standards learned during training at the RTC. At the conclusion of this phase, which is proficiency-driven, rather than time-driven, the district is validated as a reformed police force, using the same objective assessment checklist that was used in the preliminary assessment phase.

Six cycles of FDD are planned for completion in 2008. The first cycle, which began in seven districts in late 2007, is nearing completion with district ANP reinserted in their districts and undergoing intensive mentoring. The second cycle of FDD is mid-course in five districts, with district ANP undergoing reconstitution at the regional training centers. The third cycle, being implemented in nine districts, is in the initial assessment phase.

Current challenges facing the FDD program are a shortage of PMTs, a shortage of trained ANCOP units (currently a growing program), limited capacity at the RTCs, in some cases a lack of provincial governor support (due to the perceived loss of power as the AUP become loyal to the nation and the potential loss of a source of revenue for the governor), and integration of other aspects of rule of law and governance reform. We anticipate that over the course of 2008, these challenges will lessen with the training of additional ANCOP units, the construction of the National Police Training Center, and the ability of FDD-reformed districts to strengthen ties with district governance and populations.

The FDD initiative is linked and complementary to ongoing ISAF operations and will center on the Eastern and Southern regions that have experienced increased instability due to anti-government elements. It is aimed at focusing limited resources to maximize the overall development of the AUP, ultimately creating communities able to sustain stability in the long term. Popular perception of the FDD program – particularly in those districts where it is being implemented – is favorable, and the national government views the FDD initiative as a catalyst for similar programs which might benefit other governmental branches.

CSTC-A, in conjunction with TF Phoenix, has placed increased emphasis on the training and mentoring of the ABP by increasing the number of U.S. ETTs within the unit organization. ETTs are currently in place from the ABP brigade HQ down to the company level. They are working to improve the standards of training in combat operations, communications and logistics. All training efforts for the Afghan Border Police will be coordinated with the Border Management Task Force, a group that provides oversight and management of U.S. border initiatives and assists the GIRoA with border issues. ANP Recruiting and Retention

The accession process for the ANP mirrors the process described above in the ANA section minus the additional step of name circulation implemented by the ANA. ANP forces have been difficult to man and sustain. Currently, USG is examining options for pay incentives to boost ANP recruitment and retention.

From March 24, 2007, through March 2, 2008, the nationwide recruiting numbers for all police programs was 17,474 (4,795 ABP; 1,414 ANCOP; and 11,265 AUP and specialty police). Recruiting efforts are the critical lynchpin to the efforts to build and sustain a viable and resourced national police force. The Ministry of Interior has been generally successful in obtaining the required number of personnel to keep the growth in police on an upward trend. However, some critical actions must be taken to preserve the forces on hand and to prepare for replacing expected losses.

The first area for improvement is recruiting staff within the MoI. The GIRoA should ensure that appropriate recruiting personnel are authorized and trained. Due to a shortage of recruiters, the efforts to recruit personnel to date have been successful, though not as expedient as desired. Additionally, dispersing recruiters to regional and provincial locations enables the police to fill upcoming losses quicker by reducing recruiter travel time and utilizing their familiarity with the area. Many international force commanders have requested recruiting officers at the provincial level who can travel with them to areas where the village elders have committed to provide men for the police forces. Due to the shortage of recruiters these offers usually go unmet by the MoI Recruiting Department because the vetting and recruiting team cannot focus on multiple areas simultaneously. One successful program utilized in the central zone has been the utilization of assigned police personnel officers at the unit level to assist in the recruitment process. These officers both know the area and the elders and village leaders who bring forward their best personnel to serve their country in the ANP.

Similarly, the MoI must capitalize on the efforts that international forces have made towards building relationships with the local elders and tribal leaders. A successful recruiting effort in a nation led by patriarchs will work only if tribal leaders are included in the process. If these leaders submit their own candidates for the police forces they are staking their reputation alongside that of the future officer. In Afghanistan, tribal affiliations still play a more important role than loyalty to the nation. The tribal elder’s certification of a prospective police officer almost guarantees their viability as an asset.

While recruiting the right personnel for the national police force is crucial to its success, retention is equally critical. One of the first steps towards retaining the police officers that have been recruited is completion of a functional personnel management system that can track personnel assignments and completion of service commitments. Additionally, police officers are given no incentives to stay on the force when their commitment is complete. Possible solutions could include re-enlistment bonuses and combat incentive pay for those serving in high threat areas. The Ministry of Defense has employed incentives for the ANA and has seen tremendous increases in the retention of their soldiers upon termination of enlistment contracts. Some of the incentives include relocation of family, increased salary, or promotion and professional schooling. It is hoped that programs such as these, when implemented, will lead to an overall increase in the professionalism of those who serve in the police forces.

Another issue that continues to plague the ANP and challenge recruiting and retention is pay corruption. Cash payment of salaries leaves ample opportunity for corruption. The implementation of Electronic Funds Transfer to the ANP will limit the amount of hand-to-hand money transfers that must occur. In order to implement this program, some districts near major population centers are bringing in Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) that are linked into the Afghan Banking systems. Payment of salaries in full and on time significantly reduces pay corruption and improves the morale of ANP officers. As the spread of ATMs and banks continues across the country, the lack of adequate commercial or generator power maintenance will hinder continued progress (highlighting the critical need for additional police to prevent attacks on the power system).

Recruiting for the ANCOP is done through institutional-level recruiting by the MOI. In the context of initial MoI reform, senior level MoI officials undergoing rank reform have been vetted by UNAMA and the State Department. The MoI’s recent success in recruiting and vetting well-qualified candidates for ANCOP presents a sound model for the recruitment and vetting of all ANP individuals. Vetting for regular ANP recruits is still done on an ad-hoc, group basis. In the case of ANCOP, recruits are solicited through self-initiative rather than local nomination en masse. As such, the individuals applying for ANCOP training classes are those with the personal drive and initiative to qualify for entry into the institution. ANCOP recruits are vetted individually through the National Directorate of Security and the MoI’s counter-terrorism division, and their citizenship and health records are verified. Finally, two local community representatives are required to attest to their suitability for the ANP.

Several similar checks will be applied to AUP officers in districts undergoing the new FDD program, including candidate approval by a local elder, the district police chief, and a senior representative from the MOI. Upon arrival at an RTC for FDD training, all AUP officers are then vetted once again by a regional police recruiter. During the course of the eight-week FDD training, U.S. civilian police mentors monitor all trainees and identify those that need to be removed from the class. Police officers that fail to graduate from the FDD course are removed from the police force. Although vetting of officer-level recruits is systematic, vetting at the basic recruit level would benefit from a more thorough process. This deficiency is the result of a number of factors, including the need to recruit new trainees in a relatively short time-span.

Because Afghanistan National Police officers can leave at any time, unlike their counterparts in the Afghan National Army, there are no numbers for absentee or AWOL rates for the ANP. Furthermore, the lack of PMTs in the field preclude effective monitoring of force levels in the field. ANP Salary and Pay

Implementing pay equity between the ANA and ANP will contribute to the growth of the latter organization. Before the pay equity initiative was approved in 2007, an individual in the army would receive a higher monthly base pay than an individual of equivalent rank in the police.

The following table illustrates the reform process for ANP pay rates. The current monthly salaries for rank reformed personnel as of February 2008 can be found in the “Pay Reform” column. Rank Reform is continuing in the grades O-4 to O-6 and when complete in summer of 2008, all ranks will be paid the salaries indicated under the ANP/ANA Pay Parity column. These significant changes should yield additional improvements in recruiting and retention for the ANP.

Table 2 - ANP Pay Reform ANP Equipment

The ANP is equipped with light weapons, including AK-47s and 9mm pistols. Most police elements also have light machine guns. The ABP will be provided heavy machine guns later in 2008, in recognition of the higher level of operations they have on the borders. ANCOP units will also be provided heavy machine guns. Former Warsaw Pact weapons are provided through donations or through U.S.-funded purchases. Specialty organizations, such as CNPA and counter-terrorism police receive unique equipment consistent with their mission.

The ANP is provided Ford Rangers as light tactical vehicles (LTVs) and International Harvesters as Medium Tactical Vehicles (MTVs). The ANCOP is currently fielded with LTVs and MTVs, but these will be replaced with a high mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles or a similar vehicle in 2008.

Police are equipped with a variety of communications equipment. Interoperability issues exist due to the wide variety of communications equipment provided by the previous lead nation for the ANP. The remedy the issue, the U.S. has procured a common set of NATO interoperable communication equipment to completely supply the entire ANP and will complete fielding in 2008. ANP Assessment

The MoI Readiness Reporting System (RRS) is being re-worked to produce timely and accurate readiness system reports, provide actionable readiness data, and provide an executive level brief. The revised RRS should enable the MoI and ANP to conduct analysis of readiness data that will recognize shortfalls and allow MoI and ANP leadership to make corrective actions. Without the full complement of PMTs, however, a comprehensive assessment of the ANP will not be possible.

1 An assessment of the elements of the insurgency are available in a classified format (see National Intelligence Council report #ICB 2008 19).
2 On April 10, 2008 the 101st Airborne Division assumed command of Regional Command East from the 82nd Airborne Division. CJTF-101 also serves as the U.S. national command element in Afghanistan.

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