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Thread: The Afghanistan National Police (ANP)

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    Default The Afghanistan National Police (ANP)

    Recently published by the OIGs of State & Defense:

    Interagency Assessment of Afghanistan Police Training and Readiness
    Key Judgments
    • The U.S.-funded program to train and equip the Afghan National Police (ANP) is generally well conceived and well executed. However, long-term U.S. assistance and funding, at least beyond 2010, is required to institutionalize the police force and establish a self-sustaining program.

    • The U.S. Ambassador is responsible for policy guidance; the Commander, Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan (CFC-A) executes the police program through the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan (CSTC-A). The senior embassy and military leaders have excellent relations and work together well to administer and improve the police program.

    • Building the Afghan National Police (ANP) requires a comprehensive, integrated approach that encompasses leadership training, sustaining institutions and organizations, and oversight and internal control mechanisms. As it has rapidly evolved, police readiness requirements have expanded beyond training to include sweeping institutional reform of the ANP through the Ministry of Interior.

    • Nevertheless, ANP’s readiness level to carry out its internal security and conventional police responsibilities is far from adequate. The obstacles to establish a fully professional ANP are formidable. Among them are: no effective field training officer (FTO) program, illiterate recruits, a history of low pay and pervasive corruption, and an insecure environment.

    • The mentoring program is a key component to effect institutional change and build a capable, self-sustaining national police force. To reach its full potential, the mentoring program should be expanded and better managed to achieve program objectives.

    • Management of the police training contract is problematic and requires more effective coordination between State Department contract managers and CSTC-A, which is responsible for executing ANP training programs.

    • The procurement pipeline to Afghanistan for ANP equipment is slow, but is improving. There is inadequate accountability for equipment after it is turned over to the ANP, because the ANP logistics system is not yet effective. The ANP needs to establish and implement an effective end-to-end internal controls process.

    • Until the Afghan criminal justice system, including law enforcement, judiciary, and corrections, has matured and is synchronized and coordinated from the national to the local level such that laws are standardized and uniformly applied, the ANP will function more as a security force than as a law enforcement organization.

    • The U.S. and international effort for standing up the ANP is not limitless; therefore, transitioning full responsibility and authority to the MoI needs greater emphasis.

    • Building an effective ANP program will require a long-term commitment from coalition and international partners. Premature withdrawal from this commitment will compromise the progress already accomplished and put at risk the U.S. goal to establish a professional police force embracing the values and practices of community policing and the rule of law.
    The full report makes for an interesting read.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Default Cops or Robbers: The Struggle to Reform the Afghan Police

    Cops or Robbers: The Struggle to Reform the Afghan Police (pdf file) - Andrew Wilder, Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit

    ...
    If police reform is to succeed in Afghanistan, and the big increase in resources to reform the ANP is not to be wasted, the major actors —

    especially the government, the US, and the EUPOL mission — will need to address five key issues.


    1. Develop a shared vision and strategy for the ANP

    The most fundamental issue that must be resolved
    for police reform efforts to succeed in Afghanistan is the need for a shared vision of the role of the ANP, and a shared strategy on
    how to achieve that vision. In particular, there is a need to reconcile the “German vision” of the police as a civilian law and order force, and
    the “US vision” of the police as a security force with a major counter-insurgency role ...

    2. Replace SSR pillars with an integrated and comprehensive rule of law strategy.
    The failure of the government and the international community to develop and implement an effective strategy for reforming and strengthening
    the judicial sector is a potentially crippling flaw of current police reform efforts. A civilian police force, no matter how well trained and
    equipped, will have little ability to uphold and promote the rule of law in the absence of a functioning judicial system ...

    3. Make donor assistance conditional on comprehensive MoI reform.
    The most consistent theme that emerged in interviews for this paper was that without comprehensive reform of the MoI, police reform efforts will fail and the money spent on reform will be wasted. The MoI is notoriously corrupt, factionalised, and an increasingly important actor in Afghanistan's illegal drug economy ...

    4. Prioritise quality of police over quantity.


    There has been a damaging tendency to let immediate issues, such as the presidential elections and the growing Taliban insurgency, result in “quick fix” solutions that prioritise the quantity of police over the quality. A recent example was the 2006 decision to create the ANAP to assist
    in counter-insurgency operations. Such measures to quickly increase police numbers are undermining the longer-term objective of creating
    an effective police force ...


    5. Prioritise fiscal sustainability of the security sector.


    It is widely recognised that in the foreseeable future Afghanistan will not have the resources to independently sustain the security sector institutions that are currently being developed. Despite this knowledge, few concrete measures are being taken to address the problem, and
    few decisions are being made to bring security sector costs more in line with what Afghanistan can afford ...

    A massive amount of info about the Afghan police in this document. Very interesting reading, whether you agree with the recommendations or not.


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    ISN Security Watch, 30 Jul 07: Afghanistan's Embryonic Police
    In what is becoming a dolefully familiar pattern in the ongoing fighting in Afghanistan, the Taliban are increasingly targeting the fledgling Afghan police force. According to Afghanistan's Ministry of Interior, around 350 Afghan police officers have been killed since the beginning of 2007, the highest police death toll they have seen since the Taliban were routed out of Kabul in 2001....

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    ICG, 30 Aug 07: Reforming Afghanistan's Police
    Policing goes to the very heart of state building, since a credible national institution that helps provide security and justice for the population is central to government legitimacy. However Afghanistan’s citizens often view the police more as a source of fear than of security. Instead of emphasising their coercive powers, reform should focus on accountability, ethnic representation and professionalism, along with an urgent need to depoliticise and institutionalise appointments and procedures. It is counter-productive to treat police as an auxiliary fighting unit in battling the insurgency, as has been happening with increasing frequency in the troubled south. Afghanistan, like any other democracy, requires police service more than police force.

    The state of the Afghan National Police (ANP) nearly six years after the fall of the Taliban reflects the international community’s failure to grasp early on the centrality of comprehensive reform of the law enforcement and justice sectors, despite similar hard-learned lessons in other countries attempting to emerge from years of armed conflict. President Karzai’s government still lacks the political will to tackle a culture of impunity and to end political interference in appointments and operations. Attempts to shortcut institution building are compounded by an exploding narcotics trade – partly symptomatic of the state of policing but even more clearly a major corrupting influence on attempted reforms. At the same time, the challenges of a growing insurgency are pushing quick fixes to the fore....
    Full 35 page report at the link.

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    ...I'm posting this here rather than in the dedicated Afghan Drug thread because of the focus on the Police:

    Transcripts from the 4 Oct 07 hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia:

    Counternarcotics Strategy and Police Training in Afghanistan, Thomas A. Schweich, Acting Assistant Secretary, DoS Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan.

    Counternarcotics Strategy and Police Training in Afghanistan, Mark L. Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group.

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    Council Member tequila's Avatar
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    Death rate for Afghan police force 'staggering' - Ottawa Star, 1 Oct.

    KANDAHAR–In rural Panjwaii and Zhari districts, Afghan cops are being killed faster than they can be replaced, says one of their Canadian mentors.

    That terrifying fact stands as a huge roadblock to Canada's efforts to turn over security in these troubled regions to the fledgling police force.
    "The rate at which they're losing policemen can never be replenished, unfortunately," RCMP Cpl. Barry Pitcher said.

    In Panjwaii district alone – an insurgent hotbed west of Kandahar – police officers recently had six trucks destroyed in a 20-day period through roadside bombs and ambushes.

    In July, 71 police officers were killed in regional command south, a territory that includes Kandahar province. Nationwide, 650 officers were killed from March 2006 to March 2007. Government officials say another 500 have been killed since then ...

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    Canadians pay to bolster Afghan security, Globe and Mail, 9 October 2007.

    KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — Canada has decided to sidestep the corrupt Afghan government and ensure the safety of Canadian soldiers by paying Afghan police directly, in cash.

    It's an attempt to buy stability in the dangerous districts west of Kandahar city, where Canadian soldiers stake their lives on the reliability of their Afghan allies.

    “This is brand new,” said Brigadier-General Guy Laroche, Canada's top commander in Afghanistan, during an interview Monday. “We're going to make sure our people eat.”
    Good idea, although it is a sad commentary on capacity and corruption problems in the Ministry of Interior:

    “The money did not get to these guys,” Gen. Laroche said. “Somebody is taking 10 per cent here, 10 per cent there, and at the end the poor guy is left with nothing. Would you stay in a place like that without being paid? I mean, c'mon.”
    US police mentors are doing the same.

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    Eurasia Insight, 20 Nov 07: Afghanistan: A Law Enforcement Success Story in Kabul
    ..."Corruption is rooted in economics, and so is violence. Give me the equipment, the men and the money and I can turn this force into one that can clean the crime off these streets in a matter of months. Until then, I do my best with what I have.".....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post

    Great article Jed, thanks for posting.

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    Afghan Police Struggle to Work a Beat in a War - NYTIMES, 13 January.

    Many of the problems frustrating Afghanistan’s efforts to secure its dangerous eastern and southern provinces were evident in the bizarre tour of duty of Shair Mohammad, a police officer who spent 18 months in an isolated swath of steppe.

    Until December, when a colonel arrived to replace him, Mr. Mohammad, 30, had been the acting police chief in the Nawa district of Ghazni Province. The job gave him jurisdiction over hundreds of square miles near Pakistan that the Taliban had used as a sanctuary since being ousted from power in 2001.

    But his ability to police his beat was severely compromised.

    Mr. Mohammad had no rank, no money for food and not enough clothing or gear to operate in cold weather. Two of his six trucks were broken. The ammunition the Pentagon provided him came in cardboard boxes that immediately crumbled, exposing cartridges to the elements on his storeroom’s dirty floor.

    Compounding his woes, the possibility of mutiny was on his mind. It was a natural worry, he said, because since April none of his men had been paid.
    “My commanders always just give me promises,” he said. “They never send the money ...”

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    18 Jun 08 testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform's Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs regarding Oversight of U.S. Efforts to Train and Equip Police and Enhance the Justice Sector in Afghanistan:

    U.S. Efforts to Develop Capable Afghan Police Forces Face Challenges and Need a Coordinated, Detailed Plan to Help Ensure Accountability, Charles Michael Johnson, Jr., Director, International Affairs and Trade, GAO

    Rule of Law Programs in Afghanistan, Frank Ward, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Inspections, DoS

    Oversight of U.S. Efforts to Train and Equip Police and Enhance the Justice Sector in Afghanistan, David Johnson, Asst Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, DoS

    Oversight of U.S. Efforts to Train and Equip Police and Enhance the Justice System in Afghanistan, Bobby Wilkes, Dpty Asst Secretary of Defense for South Asia, OSD

    Oversight of U.S. Efforts to Train and Equip Police and Enhance the Justice System in Afghanistan, Mark Ward, Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator, Asia Bureau, USAID

    Oversight of U.S. Efforts to Train and Equip Police and Enhance the Justice System in Afghanistan, Bruce Swartz, Dpty Asst Attorney General, Criminal Division, DoJ

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Lemme see if I have this right.

    GAO -- who would not have a job if they found nothing wrong -- found things wrong. Okay.

    Three DoS, One DoD, one USAID and One DOJ type all commented on the wrongs GAO found -- and added couple to show they were concerned. Okay.

    A part of the reported problem is failure to adequately equip the ANP. No mention is made of the part played by our ridiculous procurement laws and regulations -- most at the behest of the Congress that is conducting this 'hearing' -- which are almost certainly primarily responsible for that flaw. Okay.

    Another part is that the Afghans works on a different timetable and have different mores than we would like. Okay.

    Could the excessive bureaucracy herein displayed also play a part in the failure of the ANP to walk on water?

    Oh, wait; not too much water there...

    We can save money if we store this and release it again a year from now; save the cost of another hearing to discover little real change. Or we could say no such hearing until 2012 and give things a chance to get fixed...

    Not to disparage your posting Jedburgh, I appreciate it and your postings. It's just every now and then, my mind really boggles at how utterly ridiculous and overweight we've become. Verily, I have vented...

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Wink At your age

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    GAO -- It's just every now and then, my mind really boggles at how utterly ridiculous and overweight we've become. Verily, I have vented...
    It's good to let it out, you don't need the added hyper tension
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

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    Default PTT in Afghanistan

    A long, and fairly interesting, article in the WaPo today - it's below, and linked from the 6 Aug roundup as well. Not detailed enough to really assess how things are going, but it does seem to illustrate the challenges\frustrations.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...080503531&pos=

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    Default The desired effect?

    Only had time to read the first 16 pages of the Wilder paper and the Washington Post article. Haven’t scanned the posts on our government’s approach to the problem. I do suspect that what we (the U.S. government) expect, as a standard for police work may be divorced from what is necessary and effective. That definition will certainly change over time as well.

    Getting to the point –

    If Taliban are targeting police, and they are, it is because they see the immediate threat. Police, not military, have the ability to effectively limit the Taliban control over the population. Establishing the “profession” of police work is going to be the biggest challenge to a society that distrusts authority. Young Afghans may aspire to be in the military, but at this point not many aspire to protect and serve as a member of the police force, local or national. How does one build on the idea of the importance of the police? Seems like it is going to take a lot of local work first. Work in the districts and villages like the Post article describes.

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by DaveDoyle; 08-06-2008 at 03:55 PM.

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    ICG, 18 Nov 08: Policing in Afghanistan: Still Searching for a Strategy
    Police reform in Afghanistan is receiving more attention and resources than ever before, but such increased efforts are still yet to be matched by significant improvements in police effectiveness and public confidence. Too much emphasis has continued to be placed on using the police to fight the insurgency rather than crime. Corruption and political appointments are derailing attempts to professionalise the force. The government and the international community need to reinforce the International Policing Coordination Board (IPCB) as the central forum for prioritising efforts and drive forward with much greater unity of effort. Tangible steps such as appointing a career police commissioner and establishing community liaison boards will build professionalism and wider outreach. A national police force able to uphold the rule of law is crucial to statebuilding and would help tackle the root causes of alienation that drive the insurgency.......

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    Default Identity crisis

    In an insurgency, police are caught in the middle. How they are trained and equipped, who controls them, what their missions are, etc. pose massive problems for the counterinsurgent.

    Ordinary crime and corruption are problems in Afghanistan (as is traffic control), so traditional police would have their hands full under any circumstances. In fact, the German training program was initially targeted on this mission set.

    Then come the organized drug bosses and quickly overwhelm traditional police.

    Then come the Taliban, AQ, whoever else and realy overwhelm the police. Remember -- the insurgent is not the counter-soldier, he is the counter-policeman. He doesn't want to win battles, he wants to impose control.

    So now the police tend to become something that they didn't start out to be -- paramilitary forces, and in the process, lose the ability to do traditional policing functions.

    Well, of course the army can fight insurgents, but there's also a problem with that: we don't want the military to be domestic enforcers. Posse commitatus and all that.

    Now my head is starting to hurt.

    But wait there's more. When I was working in the Afghan MOD, the senior leadership came in and started the "gotcha" round --
    "didn't you say that unity of command is a principle of war?"
    "yes..."
    "so we need command and control of the police, not the MOI."
    'now wait -- the ANA will eventually be an externally directed traditional military force, and police are not part of the military function"
    "Are you nuts? We have a huge insurgency inside our borders...(gotcha!)"

    Well, you get the idea.

    In short, there are not clean cut solutions. Wish there were.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Great post and I agree but I do think the

    ever pragmatic Dutch have at least a partial solution. Won't work for and in the US but it might work for some nations and for Afghanistan. The Marechaussee LINK and the Gendarmerie LINK concepts are also widely copied in the ME. Iran for example, in the days of the Shahs had two police forces; the totally civilian National Police who performed all standard police functions in the towns and cities and the paramilitary Gendarmerie who policed rural areas AND provdiced the border Guard and a paramilitary force (which coincidentally served as a counterweight and coup deterrent to the Armed Forces).

    The Turks also have a Gendarmerie. LINK. Note that in all cases, there's a dual chain, civilian and military and note also that the Turks are using Gendarmes in their counterinsurgency (as did the Dutch and French in their former colonies and as did the Viet Namese use their Field Police).

    We have a bad tendency to believe that only US solutions are appropriate and to apply the 'not invented here' syndrome to some good ideas that others have. Of course, one argument certain to be deployed to support that ego centric American concept is that "It's hard enough to stand up one police force, much less two." To which I respond -- when you have an absolute and demonstrated NEED for two different kinds of police forces, that's not an issue, it's simply a minor impediment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    ever pragmatic Dutch have at least a partial solution. Won't work for and in the US but it might work for some nations and for Afghanistan. The Marechaussee LINK and the Gendarmerie LINK concepts are also widely copied in the ME. Iran for example, in the days of the Shahs had two police forces; the totally civilian National Police who performed all standard police functions in the towns and cities and the paramilitary Gendarmerie who policed rural areas AND provdiced the border Guard and a paramilitary force (which coincidentally served as a counterweight and coup deterrent to the Armed Forces).

    The Turks also have a Gendarmerie. LINK. Note that in all cases, there's a dual chain, civilian and military and note also that the Turks are using Gendarmes in their counterinsurgency (as did the Dutch and French in their former colonies and as did the Viet Namese use their Field Police).

    We have a bad tendency to believe that only US solutions are appropriate and to apply the 'not invented here' syndrome to some good ideas that others have. Of course, one argument certain to be deployed to support that ego centric American concept is that "It's hard enough to stand up one police force, much less two." To which I respond -- when you have an absolute and demonstrated NEED for two different kinds of police forces, that's not an issue, it's simply a minor impediment.
    I am a fan of the Gendarmerie concept but I have to ask if A-stan has the $$ to support two national police forces. Even with massive stand-up support, just maintaining well equiped forces seems to be beyond A-stans reach. All the more reason why I see the mission as defeating AQ and the Taliban over standing up A-stan stability.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Good luck with that

    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    ...All the more reason why I see the mission as defeating AQ and the Taliban over standing up A-stan stability.
    Reed
    I don't think that's possible. Suppress, control to an extent? Yes. Defeat? No -- they'll just go to ground and wait out the west.

    As for this:
    I am a fan of the Gendarmerie concept but I have to ask if A-stan has the $$ to support two national police forces. Even with massive stand-up support, just maintaining well equiped forces seems to be beyond A-stans reach.
    First, at this time, we're paying the bills, so stand up is not an issue. Second, given a cessation of western support, Afghanistan will almost certainly continue to exist and it will almost certainly have Police. Those Police will number X. Whether they're all in one agency or four different crews is of little account. Efficiency is always important -- effectiveness is usually more important.

    As an aside, I'd suggest that given what I know of Afghanistan, they'd be better off with one National Gendarmerie and having the normal police functions at Province and city level -- but that's in the too hard box at this time.

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