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Tag Archive: Afghan National Police


Published on Apr 3, 2013

Reporter Ben Anderson joins Allied troops as they prepare to hand over to Afghan forces next year. But he finds the Afghan army and police forces – who are taking over when the British and Americans leave – poorly trained and lacking the resources needed to fight the Taliban. Worse, he uncovers evidence that the police themselves are committing horrendous crimes under the noses of Allied forces

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Report Finds Afghan Military Shrinking Not Growing

May 02, 2013

  
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A U.S. government watchdog overseeing the Afghanistan reconstruction found the U.S. led effort to recruit, train and field the Afghan National Security Forces is about 20,000 troops below its stated goal of 352,000.

The U.S. led coalition force failed to meet the goal of 352,000 ANSF personnel by October 2012, although the Defense Department reported that it reached the goal of recruiting 352,000 ANSF personnel. These personnel are spread across the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and the Afghan Air Force.

In fact, the ANSF end strength is shrinking, not growing. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction found that the number of personnel shrunk by about 4,000 troops and policemen between March 2012 and February 2013.

Inspectors noted how the U.S. led coalition has continually moved the date in which it hopes to reach the stated end strength. Defense Department officials have recently told SIGAR officials the goal is now to train, equip and field the personnel in the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police by December 2013, and the Afghan National Air Force by 2017.

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Afghanistan Is Not Ready to Take Over

A special inspector general discloses that as U.S. forces head for the exit, the Pentagon has not met its goal for enlarging the Afghan force left behind.
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An Afghan National Army soldier practices drills at an outpost in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, on January 29, 2013. (Andrew Burton/Reuters)

Since the United States first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, a signature goal of the war has been to increase the size of Afghan national security forces and give their members the skills to vanquish domestic terrorist groups and other security threats on their own.

But as the Obama administration prepares to pull 34,000 U.S. troops out of the country by February and most of the remaining troops by the end of 2014, estimates of the size of the Afghan force trained to take over this lead security role have suddenly grown fuzzy and possibly unreliable.

The Afghan National Army “did not yet have the ability to plan and conduct sustained operations without U.S. and Coalition support.”

A new report this week by the government’s top watchdog over U.S. spending in Afghanistan casts doubt on whether the U.S.-led coalition and the Afghan government has met a goal set in 2011 of enlisting and training a total of 352,000 Afghan security personnel by October 2012. Pentagon officials have said that target was meant to strike a balance between what is needed and what America and its allies can deliver in concert with the Afghan government.

The White House declared two months ago, in conjunction with the President’s State of the Union address, that the goal had been attained. Afghan “forces are currently at a surge strength of 352,000, where they will remain for at least three more years, to allow continued progress toward a secure environment in Afghanistan,” it said.

But on Tuesday, Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko challenged this rosy assessment, which White House officials said was based on data supplied by the Pentagon.

“The goal to ‘train and field’ 352,000 Afghan National Security Forces by last October was not met.” Sopko said in his latest quarterly report. Instead, as of Feb. 18, the number of personnel in the Afghan National Army, National Police and Air Force totaled 332,753, or about 20,000 fewer, according to data he said he collected from the Coalition-led transition command in Kabul.

Sopko said Afghan troop and police strength is actually declining, not rising – belying a longstanding goal of the U.S. intervention. There are now 4,700 fewer personnel than a year ago, he noted, drawing on the same data that the Pentagon routinely uses.

The discrepancy between the force size the White House has claimed and what the Afghans have actually been able to field is not a trivial one, Sopko’s report suggested. “Accurate and reliable accounting for ANSF personnel is necessary to ensure that U.S. funds that support the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] are used for legitimate and eligible costs,” it said.

As a result, the discrepancy has triggered a wider audit by his organization into “the extent to which DOD [the Department of Defense] reviews and validates the information collected” from Afghan officials, Sopko said in the report. It will broadly assess “the reliability and usefulness” of what the Afghans – and the U.S. government – say about the force’s size.

In a statement to the Center for Public Integrity, Sopko explained that “we are not implying that anyone is manipulating data. We are raising a concern that we don’t have the right numbers. We appreciate how difficult it is to get the correct numbers — but we need accurate numbers because we’re using those numbers to pay ANSF salaries, supply equipment and so forth.”

The financial stakes behind the numbers are huge. Sopko’s report says Congress has appropriated more than $51 billion so far “to build, equip, train and sustain the Afghan National Security Forces.”

But U.S. officials and watchdog groups have previously raised alarms about the existence of “ghost” personnel in the Afghan forces, whose salaries are still funded by Western aid but who quit the units to which they are assigned. The annual attrition rate for the Afghan army is nearly 30 percent, according to U.S. military commanders, provoking an enormous churn in the ranks that complicates accurate record-keeping.

Part of the problem, according to Sopko’s report, is that Western officials have allowed “the Afghan forces to report their own personnel strength numbers,” which are based on hand-written ledgers in “decentralized, unlinked and inconsistent systems.” The Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which oversees the training effort, reported last year “there was no viable method of validating personnel numbers,” the report added.

But U.S. officials have added to the confusion by adopting a new definition of what it means to be a member of the Afghan security force, loosening its terminology in a way that enlarges the ranks to include all those “recruited” rather than those actually trained and field-ready.

For example, the Defense Department’s so-called Section 1230 reports, which track the progress of the war, including efforts to build an effective Afghan security force, said in April 2012 that “the ANSF are ahead of schedule to achieve the October 2012 end-strength of 352,000, including subordinate goals of 195,000 soldiers and 157,000 police.”

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Government auditor challenges White House account of Afghanistan security

A special inspector general discloses that as US forces head for the exit, the Pentagon has not met its goal for enlarging the Afghan force left behind

By Richard H.P. Sia

20 hours, 20 minutes ago Updated: 14 hours, 28 minutes ago

Afghan National Army recruits practice a house clearing during training exercise in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Dar Yasin/AP

Since the United States first sent troops to Afghanistan in 2001, a signature goal of the war has been to increase the size of Afghan national security forces and give their members the skills to vanquish domestic terrorist groups and other security threats on their own.

But as the Obama administration prepares to pull 34,000 U.S. troops out of the country by February and most of the remaining troops by the end of 2014, estimates of the size of the Afghan force trained to take over this lead security role have suddenly grown fuzzy and possibly unreliable.

A new report this week by the government’s top watchdog over U.S. spending in Afghanistan casts doubt on whether the U.S.-led coalition and the Afghan government has met a goal set in 2011 of enlisting and training a total of 352,000 Afghan security personnel by October 2012. Pentagon officials have said that target was meant to strike a balance between what is needed and what America and its allies can deliver in concert with the Afghan government.

The White House declared two months ago, in conjunction with the President’s State of the Union address, that the goal had been attained. Afghan “forces are currently at a surge strength of 352,000, where they will remain for at least three more years, to allow continued progress toward a secure environment in Afghanistan,” it said.

But on Tuesday, Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction John F. Sopko challenged this rosy assessment, which White House officials said was based on data supplied by the Pentagon.

“The goal to ‘train and field’ 352,000 Afghan National Security Forces by last October was not met.” Sopko said in his latest quarterly report. Instead, as of Feb. 18, the number of personnel in the Afghan National Army, National Police and Air Force totaled 332,753, or about 20,000 fewer, according to data he said he collected from the Coalition-led transition command in Kabul.

Sopko said Afghan troop and police strength is actually declining, not rising – belying a longstanding goal of the U.S. intervention. There are now 4,700 fewer personnel than a year ago, he noted, drawing on the same data that the Pentagon routinely uses.

The discrepancy between the force size the White House has claimed and what the Afghans have actually been able to field is not a trivial one, Sopko’s report suggested. ”Accurate and reliable accounting for ANSF personnel is necessary to ensure that U.S. funds that support the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] are used for legitimate and eligible costs,” it said.

As a result, the discrepancy has triggered a wider audit by his organization into “the extent to which DOD [the Department of Defense] reviews and validates the information collected” from Afghan officials, Sopko said in the report. It will broadly assess “the reliability and usefulness” of what the Afghans – and the U.S. government – say about the force’s size.

 

Read Full Article Here

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Very interesting that the  fact that a teenager being  held for sexual favors is not condemned or spoken about other than to explain who the teenager was. Yet the fact that  the  same teenager who was being kept for sex drugged and helped kill not only the Commander but  seven other officers is referred to as a betrayal?  Really ?  I suppose  the teenager should have  been  grateful? 

Perhaps if he had not been held against his will to be used for the man’s pleasure they would all be alive now?

Is that a  far fetched assumption?

I am no fan of the  Taliban, but something is seriously skewed when  behavior like this goes unchallenged?  A  tragedy  was bound to ensue one way or another.

 

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Rahmat Gul/Associated Press

A graduation ceremony for Afghan police officers in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Thursday. More Photos »

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Early Thursday morning, an Afghan policeman unlocked the door of the check post where he was stationed in Oruzgan Province and let in his friends from the Taliban, who helped him attack his sleeping colleagues with knives and guns, eventually killing four and wounding eight.

On Sunday, a local police commander in a remote northern province, Jawzjan, shot to death, in their beds, five men under his command and fled to join the Taliban.

And on Dec. 18, a teenager, apparently being kept for sexual purposes by an Afghan border police commander in southern Kandahar Province, drugged the commander and the other 10 policemen at the post to put them to sleep, and then shot them all; eight died.

In the crisis that has risen in the past year over insider killings, in which Afghan security forces turn on their allies, the toll has been even heavier for the Afghans themselves — at least 86 in a count by The New York Times this year, and the full toll is likely to be higher — than it has been for American and other NATO forces, which have lost at least 62 so far, the latest in Kabul on Monday.

Unlike most insider attacks against foreign forces, known as “green on blue” killings, most of the attacks between Afghans, “green on green,” have been clear cases of either infiltration by Taliban insurgents or turncoat attacks. As with the three recent attacks, they have fallen most heavily on police units, and they have followed a familiar pattern: the Taliban either infiltrate someone into a unit, or win over someone already in a unit, who then kills his comrades in their sleep. Frequently, the victims are first poisoned or drugged at dinner.

“I tell my cook not to allow any police officer in the kitchen,” said Taaj Mohammad, a commander of a border police check post near the one in Kandahar that was attacked on Dec. 18. “This kind of incident really creates mistrust among comrades, which is not good. Now we don’t trust anyone, even those who spent years in the post.”

The most recent of the green-on-green betrayals took place on Thursday about 3 a.m., in the town of Tirin Kot, the capital of Oruzgan Province in southern Afghanistan. According to Fareed Ayal, a spokesman for the provincial police chief, a police officer named Hayat Khan, who had been in regular touch with the Taliban for religious guidance, waited until the other officers at his check post fell asleep and then called Taliban fighters by cellphone and let them in. First the attackers stabbed the one officer who was on watch, but he raised the alarm in time to awaken some of the police officers.

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ImageSource:  National Geographics

Suicide bomber targets U.S. base in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan A vehicle driven by a suicide bomber exploded at the gate of a major U.S. military base in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing the attacker and three Afghans, Afghan police said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.

Police Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizai said a local guard who questioned the vehicle driver at the gate of Camp Chapman was killed along with two civilians and the assailant. The camp is located adjacent to the airport of the capital of Khost province, which borders Pakistan. Chapman and nearby Camp Salerno had been frequently targeted by militants in the past, but violent incidents have decreased considerably in recent months.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email that the bomber targeted Afghan police manning the gate and Afghans working for the Americans entering the base. He claimed high casualties were inflicted.

NATO operates with more than 100,000 troops in the country, including some 66,000 American forces. It is handing most combat operations over to the Afghans in preparation for a pullout from Afghanistan in 2014. Militant groups, including the Taliban, rarely face NATO troops head-on and rely mainly on roadside bombs and suicide attacks.

NATO forces and foreign civilians have also been increasingly attacked by rogue Afghan military and police, eroding trust between the allies.

On Tuesday, the Interior Ministry said a policewoman who killed an American contractor in Kabul a day earlier was a native Iranian who came to Afghanistan and displayed “unstable behavior” but had no known links to militants.

 

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