Showing posts with label Afghan-National-Army-ANA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Afghan-National-Army-ANA. Show all posts

Sunday, November 12, 2017

APPF and ABP to Fall Under the MoD

APPF unit assigned to guard the Tarakhil power plant
(Photo DVIDS, March 201@)

The Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) and Afghan Border Police (ABP) will no longer be part of the Ministry of Interior (MoI). The organizations will now fall under the Ministry of Defense (MoD). A Defense ministry spokesman says they will receive more equipment and better training. The APPF and ABP will take on new missions. They will be part of the 'Hold' phase of 'Clear', 'Hold', and 'Build'. 4,000 members of the ABP will remain under the MoI to secure borders, airports, and custom stations. Read more in "Public Protection Forces And Border Police to Join the Army", Tolo News, November 6, 2017.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

ANA Kabul Bus Rides Halted

The intensified Taliban offensive in Kabul has caused the Afghan National Army (ANA) to stop the practice of transporting its soldiers to and from work on buses. A number of buses have been targeted by Taliban suicide bombers in recent months causing deaths and injuries. Read more in "After Bus Bombings, Afghan Army Halts Soldier Transports", Voice of America, December 16, 2014.

Monday, December 1, 2014

ANSF Ill Equipped to Fight Taliban

ISAF keeps pumping out the positive feel good messages about how the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have "overmatched" the Taliban in 2014 but the situation on the ground seems to indicate otherwise. Some districts controlled by the government forces amount to the district center (a few buildings with a wall around the compound) in the control of the police but the remaining 99% of the district land area is controlled by the Taliban. The last few months of the fighting season (actually, it seems not to have ended yet) have seen the Coalition provide increased close air support to the ANSF to turn the tide of some of the battles. The Afghan Air Force is not yet able to provide the air support needed to the degree necessary. Read more in "Afghan forces ill equipped to fight Taliban without NATO", Reuters, November 30, 2014.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Paper - "Reforming the Afghan Security Forces"

A recent paper published in the Fall 2014 issue of  Parameters addresses the challenges ahead for the Afghan government in establishing security in Afghanistan and funding its very large security force structure. The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) remain deficient in some important areas - logistics, sustainment, fires, aviation, MEDEVAC, intelligence, and (some would say) ability to conduct small unit tactics in a counterinsurgency environment. The Taliban have yet to be defeated, and with the withdrawal of ISAF combat troops and close air support, they are more likely to increase the number of massed attacks against remote ANSF outposts and vulnerable district centers.

According to the authors of the paper, the ANSF suffer from three developmental challenges. 1) A high attrition rate, high absenteeism rate, and inflated recruitment roles, 2) lack of ability to sustain its forces over the long-term, and 3) failure of the GoA to incorporate the country's ethnically and tribally diverse populace into the national security architecture. Compounding these three challenges is the reduction in international funding for the ANSF - which will force a reduction in the overall manpower of the security forces.

The authors recommend ". . . a more resilient, inclusive, and localized security structure . . ." with an expansion of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) and the Afghan National Army Special Forces (ANASF). The growth of the ALP would provide more localized security (more effective in a counterinsurgency environment). In addition, the ALP - a less costly approach from a funding aspect - would allow for a reduction in the size of the Afghan National Army (resulting from decreased international funding).

Read more in "Reforming the Afghan Security Forces", Parameters, Autumn 2014, by Daniel Glickstein and Michael Spangler. Glickstein served in Afghanistan's Laghman province as a U.S. Soldier in 2011-2012 and Spangler is a State Department Foreign Service Officer, a visiting fellow at the U.S. Army War College, and served in Afghanistan in 2009-2010.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Video - ANA Training at KMTC

One of the largest training centers for the Afghan National Army (ANA) is at the Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC). The subjects taught by ANA instructors at KMTC range from house clearing, convoy operations, medical training and more. Watch a short video (2 mins) produced by NATO TV entitled "Afghan army learns from the battlefield", October 15, 2014.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Trends of 2014 Fighting Season

The fighting season in Afghanistan typically starts in the spring and ends in the fall. Insurgent activity does not end completely; it just subsides significantly (somewhere around 30 to 60 %). The Afghan National Security Forces (army and police) usually take the winter time to do some re-training, re-fitting, leave time, and re-organization; although 2012 and 2013 saw some ANSF activity to "shape" the battlefield for the summer fighting seasons. This past fighting season (2014) is easing up; the activity level will go down as we move into November. Both the Taliban and the ANSF (along with ISAF) conduct a review of what worked and what didn't work. Once the fighting season assessments are completed, then they adapt their training and preparations for the upcoming fighting season (2015). One analyst, Jason Lyall, has identified five trends and lessons of the 2014 fighting season. Jason is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale University and his work examines wartime dynamics of violence and insurgencies.

1. The ANSF suffered highest loss rates of war in 2014.
2. Taliban massed on the battlefield with operations against 41 districts.
3. Taliban now has capability to conduct operations across the entire country.
4. Pakistan's aid to the Taliban continues and may have increased.
5. Intensity of fight forced ISAF to use its dwindling air power.

You can read his entire analysis of these five trends in "A (fighting) season to remember in Afghanistan", The Washington Post, October 20, 2014.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

4 More ANA Officers Go AWOL (Italy)

Four Afghan National Army (ANA) officers have gone missing from a warfare course in Italy.  They were among 20 Afghan officers attending a course provided by the Italian Army. The good news is that only 25% of the class went missing.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ANA Death Rate 30 % Higher

The Afghan army death rate rose 30 percent over the 2013 death rate. This is a result of several factors. First is that the Taliban have not been defeated and are just as strong as they ever have been. Second is that the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has reduced its combat power on the ground to the extent that almost all of the fighting is being done by the Afghan National Army (ANA) and some special units of the Afghan National Police (ANP). The biggest exception are the NSOCC-A units that operate alongside the Afghan special forces and special police units. In addition, the U.S. (and other NATO countries) provide close air support and medical evacuation on a very limited basis. Read more in "Afghan army death rate spikes 30 percent", Air Force Times, October 3, 2014.

Political Meddling with Afghan Military May End

With the arrival of the Ghani administration in the Afghan government there is hope that the political meddling on the part of the President's office (that would be the former president Karzai) and his appointees will end. This diminished political meddling will increase the country's ability to conduct an effective counterinsurgency campaign against the Taliban. General John Campbell, the commander of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) in Afghanistan stated that "The last couple years, there's been some impediments to . . . " the leadership of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Comments made by other observers such as Marc Chretien, a former top political advisor in Afghanistan, reinforced the belief that there will be less political meddling in the affairs of the Afghan military. Read the entire story at "Afghan political meddling in military likely to end", USA Today, October 3, 2014.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

ANA Soldiers Missing in U.S. Now Detained

The three Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers who went missing during a training event at Camp Edwards, Cape Cod have been found. They were stopped by Canadian border authorities when the three attempted to cross a bridge leading to Canada. Two of the three spent at least eight months in the United States in a training school on a military base. It seems their ability to soak up the culture during that time frame was limited. The three paid $1,600 to take a taxi from Cape Cod to Niagara Falls. A quick online search at Greyhound would show that individual bus tickets were only $137.50 each. But then . . . how many American Soldiers know how to go to the Kabul bus station to catch a ride to Kandahar? (not recommended by the way!). Read more in "Afghan soldiers who fled Cape feared death at home", The Boston Globe, October 1, 2014.

Friday, October 3, 2014

"Sandhurst in the Sand" Graduates First Class

The first class of cadets has graduated from the Afghan National Army Officers Academy (ANAOA) in Kabul, Afghanistan on September 24, 2014. Modeled after the British military academy and known informally as "Sandhurst in the Sand" - the school is supported by British officers and NCOs. Read more in "Defence secretary salutes first Afghan officer cadets", Your Defence News, September 25, 2014.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Afghan Soldiers Go AWOL in Cape Cod

Three officers (one major and two captains) from the Afghan National Army who were attending a training exercise at Joint Base Cape Cod have gone missing. Police and military authorities are currently searching for them. They arrived at Camp Edwards (Cape Cod, Massachusetts) on September 11th and disappeared while visiting the Cape Cod Mall in Hyannis, Massachusetts. This is quite normal. The U.S. and other ISAF nations provide opportunities for Afghan police and army personnel to attend training events and courses. Usually the attendees are chosen by higher ranking officials based on political, family, or patronage ties. The "disappearance rate" is fairly predictable - usually two to three personnel from a group of ten or twenty Afghan visitors. The Afghan "disappeared" will make prior arrangements with friends or family who are already located in the United States (or Europe) for pickup once they slip away from their "watchers". Read more on the "Cape Cod Three" in "3 Afghan soldiers missing from Cape Cod base", AOL News, September 22, 2014. UPDATE: The three missing Afghans have been found; they will receive remedial map reading training soon!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

203rd Corps Trains on 60mm Mortar

Photo by SPC Erik Warren, 3d Cav Regt
The ISAF forces are quickly drawing down troop levels in Afghanistan. If the Bilateral Security Agreement is signed the Resolute Support mission will start in January 2015 with about 9,800 U.S. troops and a few thousand troops of other nationalities (mostly European). The number of personnel who will be advisors and trainers will be limited; probably between 1,200 to 1,500 - depending on how you count them. In the last few remaining months of 2014 the advisors and trainers still in Afghanistan are making every effort to maximum the training time available to them - this while the 2014 fighting season is still underway. Members of the 3rd Cav Regiment posted at FOB Lightning are getting ready to depart Gardez - they will be gone by December 2014 and the small FOB turned over to the ANA. But while they are conducting their retrograde they are still conducting some training. The mortarmen of the 3rd Cav Regiment are conducting "train the trainer" courses for the ANA. These T3 courses will help the ANA train their own troops once the Coalition departs. One of these courses is a hands-on class on the M224 60mm mortar. Read more on this T3 mortar class in "ANA one step closer to self-reliance", DVIDS, September 9, 2014.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

ANA in RC-South Complete Major Operation

Soldiers from the 205th Corps have completed an operation that spanned over four different provinces. Operation "Chamtoo" involved member of other Afghan National Security Forces as well. The ANSF swept through a number of villages and towns finding weapons caches and killing Taliban members. The purpose of the operation was to pressure the enemy at different locations all at once and restrict their freedom of maneuver. There are over 45,000 members of the army and police in the Regional Command South area. The corps-level exercise was called a success by MG LaCamera - commander of RC South and the 4th Infantry Division. Read more in "Afghan National Army conducts large-scale operation", DVIDS, January 12, 2014.

Afghanistan's Most Honest Cop

To most Afghans and to almost any knowledgeable outside observer an Afghan cop is a corrupt cop. Afghanistan is ranked as one of the top three most corrupt nations in the world (along with North Korea and Somalia - good company there!) by Transparency International - a corruption watchdog. The Afghan National Police are not viewed widely by the Afghan population as either useful or without corruption. The judiciary system is just as bad. However, it appears that someone has found an honest policeman in Afghanistan; a traffic cop no less. Read more in "Here's what it means to be Afghanistan's 'most honest man': Low pay and no promotion", The Washington Post, January 13, 2014.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sandhurst in the Sand

The British are going to continue their involvement with the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) past 2014 but primarily in an instructor and advisory role. Much of their efforts will be centered on the Afghan National Army Officer Academy or ANA-OA. This academy will train cadets who will become officers in the ANA. The academy is modeled after the UK military academy called Sandhurst; the Afghan academy has been nicknamed 'Sandhurst in the Sand'. Learn more about Sandhurst in the Sand.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Afghan Army Faces Corruption Problem in Future

The Afghan National Army (ANA) will soon be responsible for the purchase of equipment, goods, and services in the billions of dollars. Currently many foreign militaries handle these procurements but with the departure of ISAF these functions will be turned over to the Ministry of Defense (MoD). At the moment the ANA is considered one of the least corrupt institutions in Afghanistan but that could soon change once the "watchers" are gone and the MoD officials and generals see the immense amount of money that will flow through their offices.  Read more in "As Afghan army gets cash to buy its own supplies some worry about corruption", The Sacramento Bee, February 16, 2013 at this link.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Failure to Follow Vetting Procedures in Recruiting Afghans for Security Forces Contribute to Green on Blue Incidents

On paper the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have a robust vetting process to weed out criminals and insurgents intent on joining the security forces. However, this ANA recruit vetting process is not followed many times due to lack of training, inefficiency, poor work performance, and corruption. A lack of proper vetting means that the insider threat in Afghanistan could rise. Read more in "NATO admits to security failures in Afghan green on blue killings", New York Post, April 2, 2012.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

British Advisors Say Afghan National Army is Improving

Soldiers with the British Advisory Group 3rd Kandak 215th Corps (Two Rifles Battle Group) have been spending their tour of duty in Afghanistan as advisors. They have seen a great improvement in the performance of the ANA. Read more in "Afghan National Army operations symbolizes success in Advisor's mission", DVIDS, March 21, 2012.

22% of NATO Fatalities Caused by Afghan Army and Police

60 NATO troops have been killed this year in Afghanistan. 13 have been killed by Afghan security force personnel. That comprises 22% of the NATO casualties suffered thus far. Read more in "NATO fatalities in Afghanistan: 22 percent this year at hands of Afghan Army, police", The Christian Science Monitor, March 21, 2012.