Showing posts with label reports. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reports. Show all posts

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Lead IG Quarterly Report on Afghanistan (Oct - Dec 2017)

The Lead Inspector General for Operation Freedom's Sentinel Quarterly Report to the United States Congress has been published. It covers the period of time from October 1 to December 31, 2017. The report summarizes significant events involving OFS. Topics covered in the 140-page report include:

  • South Asia Strategy Update
  • Increase of Political Tensions
  • Oversight Issues
  • Battle for Population Control
  • Highly Volatile Security Situation
  • Record Opium Harvest
  • Humanitarian Assistance

Some of the highlights and findings in the report indicate that there has been no improvement in security. While Resolute Support HQs maintains that the ANDSF (specifically the ASSF) has improved this has not translated into increased security on the ground. In fact, it appears that the Taliban have increased their control or influence of some of the districts in Afghanistan. The opium poppy cultivation has set a new record for crops produced in 2017; which, in part, funds the Taliban insurgency. Political tensions within the National Unity Government have polarized the government bureaucracy and rendered some of the institutions ineffective. The failure to implement an electronic ID card is - in part - affecting the ability of the government to conduct the 2018 parliamentary elections.

There are some key challenges facing the Afghan government and and the NATO coalition forces in Afghanistan. These include the task of defeating the Islamic State in Khorsan Province (IS-KP), pressuring Pakistan to eliminate terrorist safe havens, holding credible elections on time, and preventing violence from undermining humanitarian relief efforts.

The report is available at the link below:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress (Jan 2018)

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has posted its Quarterly Report to Congress for January 2018. This 293-page report provides an overview of reconstruction activities in Afghanistan with updates on:

Overview and Status of Funds
Economic and Social Development

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Asia Foundation's "Survey of the Afghan People 2017"

The Asia Foundation conducts an annual survey of the Afghan population and publishes a report on its findings in the fall of each year. The report covers several topics to include the National Mood, Security, Economy, Development, Governance, Politics, Media, Women in Society, and Migration. This years 267-page report is based on interviews of over 10,000 people across many ethnic groups from all 34 Afghan provinces.

Here is an abstract of the report provided by The Asia Foundation:

"Survey of the Afghan People polled 10,012 Afghan respondents from 16 ethnic groups across all 34 provinces, including insecure and physically challenging environments. The annual survey is the longest-running and broadest nationwide survey of Afghan attitudes and opinions. Since 2004, the Survey has gathered the opinions of more than 97,000 Afghan men and women, providing a unique longitudinal portrait of evolving public perceptions of security, the economy, governance and government services, elections, media, women’s issues, and migration."

You can download the report at the link below:

Analysis and Commentary on the Survey of the Afghan People:

Asia Foundation Survey 2017 - Security Highlights of Report, SOF News, November 14, 2017

Sunday, October 1, 2017

SIGAR Report - Reconstructing the ANDSF

A recent SIGAR report provides lessons learned about the train, advise, and assist mission for the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The 283-page report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, published in September 2017, examines how the U.S. government (DoD, DoS, Justice Department) developed and executed security sector assistance programs for the Afghan security forces and institutions. A number of lessons learned are identified and recommendations are offered for improved performance in efforts to assist the ANDSF as well as other security sector assistance programs in future operations around the world.

The analysis by SIGAR finds that the U.S. government was not prepared to assist the Afghan army and police forces adequately. The U.S. lacked a comprehensive approach to security sector assistance and lacked a whole-of-government approach to develop a capable and self-sustaining Afghan security force. Read Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, SIGAR, September 2017.

The report is also available as an interactive online resource

Sunday, August 6, 2017

SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has issued its Quarterly Report to Congress. The report covers the period of April through June 2017. The 272-page report covers reconstruction, oversight issues, governance, security, and more.

"SIGAR Quarterly Report July 2017", SOF News, August 1, 2017.

"Wow, Afghanistan Is Getting a Lot Worse", War is Boring, August 2, 2017.

"Here's Exactly How Much the US Has Spent on the War in Afghanistan - So Far", Task and Purpose, August 1, 2017.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Governance News

AREU Report. The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) has published a new report entitled Land Governance Assessment Framework (LGAF) - Afghanistan. It is 242-pages long published in June 2017. The LGAF was developed by the World Bank and other organizations to enhance the activities of the institutions that work on issues relating to the country's good land governance.

AREU Report. The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU) has published a new report entitled Subnational Governance in Afghanistan. This 68-page report was published in July 2017 and covers the state of affairs in Afghanistan and the future of district and village representation.

Election Dates Announced. The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) has announced the dates for parliamentary and district council elections. The date is set for July 7, 2018. Read more in "IEC Announces Election Date: July Next Year", Tolo News, June 23, 2017.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Reports on Afghanistan

Listed below are some recent reports of interest on security, development, and governance.

AREA, Urban Governance: An Assessment of the Urban Development Program in Afghanistan, Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, May 2017.

AAN, Reforming the Afghan Ministry of Interior: A Way to 'tilt' the war?, by Kate Clark of the Afghanistan Analysts Network, June 9, 2017.

SIGAR, Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, April 30, 2017. This 273-page report outlines progress and concerns on Afghan security, development, expenditure of U.S. funds, oversight on USAID activities, and more.

World Bank, Afghanistan Development Update, May 25, 2017. This report is produced twice yearly with two main aims: to report on key economic developments over the preceding months and to examine topics of particular policy significance. This report is 44-pages long.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

SIGAR Quarterly Report to Congress - October 2016

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has released its quarterly report to Congress on October 30, 2016. Some of the topics in the 280-page report include "Afghan Women on their Progress and the Challenges That Remain", "SIGAR Oversight Activities", "Reconstruction Update", and other "Agency Oversight".

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Report - Transition from Intervention to CT Policy

William Maley, of the Australian National University, has wrote a report entitled "Transitioning from Military Interventions to Long-Term Counter-Terrorism Policy: The case of Afghanistan (2001-2016)". The report is dated April 2016 but is very current. The 62-page paper is an interesting read for those students of the Afghan conflict.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Reports and Publications Recently Issued

SIGAR Quarterly Report. Four times a year the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction issues a report on the Afghan conflict and where are tax payer money is spent in Afghanistan. Topics in the latest report include electrifying Afghanistan, SIGAR oversight activities, reconstruction update, and other SIGAR reports. Overall, the report is (like most SIGAR reports) a bit pessimistic; unlike RS or DoD reports which are overly optimistic). But it is a good read to balance out the spin coming out of the Department of Defense or what the Afghan government media sources are spouting out. Things are not that good from a security standpoint, the economy is not faring well, young educated people are leaving in droves, and the international community and Resolute Support Headquarters still have not got a handle on accountability and oversight on how their funds are being spent by the Afghans. Read the Quarterly Report to the United States Congress, July 30, 2016.

Report on Recruitment by Armed Groups in Afghanistan. The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) published a report on the recruitment of armed groups in Afghanistan (Taliban and other insurgent factions) on September 19, 2016..

SIGAR Report on Afghanistan's High Office of Oversight (HOO). The High Office of Oversight is the topic of a special report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. The report finds that the HOO, which has broad responsibility for combating official corruption, lacks enforcement power, and was likely just 'window dressing' to satisfy the international community's desire for progress on fighting corruption. Read the report published on September 19, 2016.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

DoD 1225 Report on Afghanistan - Dec 2015

The Department of Defense has published its semi-annual report on the current situation in Afghanistan. The report, entitled Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan, was published in mid-December 2015. It has 96 pages of information spanning all aspects of the Afghan conflict. It is commonly referred to as the "1225 report" and is required in accordance with Section 1225 of the NDAA for FY 2015. It includes a description of the strategy of the U.S. for security and stability in Afghanistan, a current and anticipated threat assessment, and a description of many aspects of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The period covered is from June 1, 2015 to November 30, 2015. Previous reports and assessments on the conflict in Afghanistan can be read at the following link: The current 1225 report is available on a DoD site at the link below:

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Report - Human Terrain System

Dr. Christopher Sims has wrote a 526 page report entitled The Human Terrain System: Operationally Relevant Social Science Research in Iraq and Afghanistan, dated December 2015. The author presents ". . . an examination of the organizational origins of the HTS, and a tactical history delineated through the experiences and insights of former Human Terrain Team social scientists, set against the backdrop of a wider debate in the academy and media on the efficacy and ethicality of the program." The provides an overview of the HTS program and examines the wider debate around social science and the military. This study of the U.S. Army HTS by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College is the story of civilians conducting social science research in conflict in order to help win the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Note: My personal experience in Afghanistan is that the men and women of the Human Terrain Teams (HTTs) working at the Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs) provided extremely helpful advice and information to the warfighters because of their knowledge of the area of operations, culture, and situation. HTTs staff members tended stay in country for a number of years while BCTs rotated in and out every 9-12 months.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Reports on Afghanistan

Geospatial Analysis and Reconstruction in Afghanistan. As international troops and observers pull out of Afghanistan and concentrate their personnel in Kabul there is less and less oversight on the money being spent on reconstruction, development, and economic projects across Afghanistan. "Geospatial analysis and mapping have a critical role to play in the reconstruction efforts in conflict-affected regions." A report by David Mansfield is available that explains this topic in detail. Read Effective Monitoring and Evaluation in Conflict-Affected Environments: Afghanistan Post-2014, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), November 12, 2015.

Asia Foundation Survey - Afghanistan 2015. Each year the Asia Foundation conducts a countrywide survey of the Afghan people. This annual survey provides insight into the views of Afghans on issues central to the country's development. Conducted in June 2015 with almost 10,000 Afghan citizens representing 14 ethnic groups and all 34 provinces - this year's survey includes new questions on youth, ISIL/ISIS, women in leadership, and mobile phone access - as well as the standard questions on security, governance and development.
"Afghan optimism about the overall direction of the country and confidence in government fell to their lowest point in a decade, while fear for personal safety increased to a record high. Afghans cite deteriorating security, unemployment, and corruption for the main reasons for their pessimism."
Paper - Cultural Frictions and Mentoring the ANA. The Afghan National Army Officer Academy (ANAOA) - sometimes referred to as "Sandhurst in the Sand" - is hopefully providing Afghanistan with future leaders who can help the nation forward in this very serious security environment. This paper ". . . traces coalition force mentors from their pre-deployment training at Sandhurst, to their deployment at ANAOA and finally to post-deployment, in order to explore their experiences of mentorship." One aspect of successful mentoring (training, advising, . . . call it what you wish) is that the mentor needs to bridge the cultural divide. It is important to recognize the discrepancy between the promotion of Western values and the emphasis on local ownership. A 'must read' paper if you are heading to or currently in Afghanistan as an advisor. Read "Cultural Frictions: Mentoring the Afghan Army at 'Sandhurst in the Sand'", Small Wars Journal, by Maya Mynster Christensen and Cecilie Odgaard Jakobsen, November 19, 2015.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Report - CRS on Afghanistan

Kenneth Katzman, a specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, has authored a report for the Congressional Research Service entitled Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy, dated October 15, 2015. The report is full of information, tables, maps, footnotes about Afghan governance, security, human rights, the Taliban, Resolute Support mission, Afghan security forces, Rule of Law, neighboring countries, foreign aid, economic development, and more. This 80-page report is available at the following link at the Homeland Security Digital Library.

SIGAR - Quarterly Report on Afghanistan

The Quarterly Report to the United States Congress by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has been published. The 256-page report dated 30 October 2015 covers a variety of topics about Afghanistan in great detail and provides a more realistic account of the current security, development, economic, status of funds, and political situation in Afghanistan than most other government and military reports. Part of the report is an extensive interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. There are also numerous appendices on a variety of issues and topics as well as many endnotes and a glossary.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Reports & Books & Pubs

New Book on Lessons Learned. Richard D. Hooker, Jr. and Joseph J. Collins have edited a book entitled Lessons Encountered: Learning From the Long War, September 2015. The book is available (free) as a PDF file on the website of the National Defense University Press (Washington, D.C.). It covers the period beginning in 2001 to recent events in Afghanistan and Iraq. Of particular interest to Security Force Assistance advisors working in the Essential Functions area in Afghanistan is Chapter 4: "Raising and Mentoring Security Forces in Afghanistan and Iraq" by T.X. Hammes. I like the title "Lessons Encounter" - as we as a military seem to not "learn" from our past conflicts we only seem to "observe" the lessons.

Afghanistan and Failed Wars. Anthony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) provides us with a 219 page slide presentation about the conflict in Afghanistan. His publication Afghanistan and "Failed State Wars": The Need for a Realistic Transitionis dated September 29, 2015. A very informative document (pdf) that gives us updated information on the political, military, economic, and security situation in Afghanistan.

AR 34-1. The Department of the Army has updated Army Regulation 34-1, Multinational Force Interoperability, July 10, 2015. Annex B-3, para c., (5), (b) says U.S. Army SGMs shouldn't expect the Brits to wear their headgear on the Resolute Support compound in Kabul.

Friday, May 1, 2015

DoD Report - Equip & Train Afghan Security Forces

The Office of Inspector General for the DoD has published a new report entitled Equipping and Training Afghan Security Forces, DoDIG-2015-108, April 30, 2015. It is an assessment of U.S. efforts to develop the sufficiency of ANSF Polices, Processes, and Procedures for the Management and Accountability of Class III (Fuel) and V (Ammunition). The report contains 7 observations, resulting in 17 recommendations.

SIGAR Quarterly Report on Afghanistan

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has issued its Quarterly Report to Congress (April 30, 2015). This 259 page report covers almost all aspects of the U.S. activities in Afghanistan and provides a summary of SIGAR's oversight work. The report identifies problems and provides assessments in the effort to build the Afghan security forces, improve governance, and facilitate economic and social development.

SIGAR Report - ANA Payroll

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has published a report entitled "Afghan National Army: Millions of Dollars at Risk Due to Minimal Oversight of Personnel and Payroll Data", SIGAR 15-54 Audit Report, April 2015. This report was sent to Secretary of Defense Ash Carter, General Lloyd Austin (Cdr CENTCOM), and General John Campbell (Cdr Resolute Support). The report provides four recommendations to include a daily sign in roster for the ANA with identification numbers, that the MoD use electronic means to track attendance and payroll records above the Corps by 2017, that they develop an MoD verification methodology, and develop written procedures for verifying ANA personnel and payroll data. Presumably these steps will provide oversight on where our money is going, reduce the amount of "ghost soldiers" who are getting paid, and eliminate some of the rampart corruption taking place within the senior ANA ranks. Sounds like the Resolute Support advisors working in Essential Function 1 and Essential Function 4 have their work cut out for them. The report finds that:
"Despite 13 years and billions of dollars in salary assistance to the Afghan government for the ANA, there is still no assurance that personnel and payroll data are accurate. Although the U.S. and Afghan governments have been working to develop effective ANA personnel and payroll processes, those processes continue to exhibit extensive internal control deficiencies".
"SIGAR found that Essential Function 4 (and prior to January 2015, CSTC-A), relies on the MOD and ANA to collect and accurately report ANA personnel and payroll data. However, the ANA's process for collecting unit-level attendance data, upon which all ANA personnel and payroll data is based, has limited oversight and weak controls, and is not consistently applied across ANA locations"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

SIGAR: $488 Million at Risk - TFBSO

A recent report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says that the Department of State (DoS), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Department of Defense's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) have failed to coordinate and prioritize their extractives activities. This failure has resulted in divergent strategies and poor working relationships - with the end result of creating potential sustainability problems. The Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP) still lacks the technical capacity to research, award, and manage new contracts without external support.

Read the SIGAR report here.
Afghanistan's Mineral, Oil, and Gas Industries: Unless U.S. Agencies Act Soon to Sustain Investments Made, $488 Million in Funding is at Risk, SIGAR 15-55 Audit Report, April 2015.

See Wikipedia's webpage for more information about the TFBSO.

Read a news report on this topic by Siobhan O'Grady in The Cable - Foreign Policy, April 28, 2015 - "Afghanistan Watchdog: Poor U.S. Planning Puts $488 Million at Risk".

Learn more about Afghanistan's mineral potential.