Sunday, March 1, 2015

CSIS Paper - Transition in Afghanistan

Anthony H. Cordesman, of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), has authored a report on Afghanistan entitled Transition in Afghanistan: Losing the Forgotten War. The paper, published on February 6, 2015, stresses the need to reshape U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia. The report indicates that the military situation in Afghanistan is far worse than the US Department of Defense and the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) is reporting. The report also provides a detailed analysis of the problems in the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police. It critiques the rapid cuts in the advisory presence and pull back from the Train Advise and Assist (TAA) mission at the tactical level. This 242 page report is comprehensive in its approach to the mistakes of the past, in the analysis of the current situation, and in its recommendations for the future.

Some of the topics covered on the ANSF include the slashing of the numbers of advisors and support regardless of conditions on the ground, the impact of a late and erratic effort to create an effective ANSF, meaningless metrics on ANSF capability, corruption in the MoD and MoI, uncertain progress of the ANA, focus on ANSF force generation rather than combat capability, the uncertain role of the Afghan Local Police, the need for transparency (on the part of ISAF), and the need for a conditions-based policy (not time-based).

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