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Thread: The Afghanistan National Police (ANP)

  1. #41
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    USIP, 10 Aug 09: Afghanistan’s Police: The Weak Link in Security Sector Reform
    Summary

    • In seven years, the Afghan National Police forces have grown to 68,000 personnel, with a target end strength of 86,000. The ANP includes the uniformed police force, which is responsible for general police duties, and specialized police forces, which deal with public order, counternarcotics, terrorism, and border control.

    • Despite the impressive growth in numbers, the expenditure of $10 billion in international police assistance, and the involvement of the United States, the European Union, and multiple donors, the ANP is riddled with corruption and generally unable to protect Afghan citizens, control crime, or deal with the growing insurgency.

    • The European Union has replaced Germany as the lead partner for police reform, but the United States has the largest police program, which is directed by the U.S. military. Putting soldiers in charge of police training has led to militarization of the ANP and its use as a counterinsurgency force.

    • Using improperly trained, equipped, and supported ANP patrol men as “little soldiers” has resulted in the police suffering three times as many casualties as the Afghan National Army. Police are assigned in small numbers to isolated posts without backup and are targeted by the insurgents.

    • Beyond funding the Taliban, the explosion in Afghan narcotics production fueled widespread corruption in the Afghan government and police. Drug abuse by police officers became increasingly common as did other forms of criminal behavior.

    • Challenges facing the ANP were further compounded by a proliferation of bilateral police assistance programs that reflected the policing practices of donor countries. These efforts often were not coordinated with the larger U.S. and EU programs, creating confusion for the ANP.

    • The Obama administration has acknowledged the importance of the police and announced its intentions to expand and improve the ANP as a key part of its plan for stabilizing Afghanistan. It should do this as part of a broader international community approach to police assistance that embraces a comprehensive program for security sector reform and rule of law.

  2. #42
    Council Member IntelTrooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    I think this is a good summary, with some caveats:
    The Obama administration’s strategy for the Afghan police is to
    increase numbers, enlarge the “train and equip” program, and engage the police in the fight against the Taliban. This approach has not worked in the past, and doing more of the same will not achieve success. It is also inconsistent with the stated intention of the new U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, to make protecting Afghan civilians the first priority of American forces and to adjust U.S. military tactics accordingly. Brig. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson said his [M]arines in Helmand province would protect Afghan civilians from the Taliban and help restore government services rather than mount hunt-and-kill missions against insurgents. Certainly, the ANP should receive the same assignment.
    The ANP are not "mount[ing] hunt-and-kill missions against insurgents." They're just not really doing anything in particular, and at the district level there aren't enough of them to really do anything, anyway. The ANP should have primary responsibility in developing informant networks and arresting low-level Taliban in addition to their normal law enforcement duties. Petty crime is pretty rare so if they're getting paid to carry weapons they should at least be contributing somehow.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
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    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

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  3. #43
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default ANP and more - an Afghan interview

    Not sure of the interviewee's background and this is supplied in the opening:

    Lieutenant General Abdul Hadi Khalid was the Afghan first deputy minister of the interior for security from May 2006 to late June 2008. Specializing in counter-narcotics, border policing and internal security, he announced the largest drug seizure in history.

    He lost his post after a dispute with President Hamid Karzai's administration last year, but remains one of Afghanistan's leading thinkers on regional ethno-political dynamics and transnational criminal networks.
    Interview covers more than the ANP and is most interesting on relatiosn with Afghanistan's neighbours: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KI23Df02.html . Note this appeared first two weeks ago on the Jamestown website.

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-25-2009 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Updated re Jamestown

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Not sure of the interviewee's background and this is supplied in the opening:



    Interview covers more than the ANP and is most interesting on relatiosn with Afghanistan's neighbours: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/KI23Df02.html

    davidbfpo
    The Americans are soldiers that do not understand the fundamentals of policing communities and feel the ANP should be proper security forces. We had Germans who were training our police [the German Police Project Office] at the Kabul Police Academy several years ago but they did not do a good job because they put too many limitations on their mandate. They could train police inside the police academy but not outside of it in real situations.
    He's right on about this, for sure.
    Last edited by IntelTrooper; 09-25-2009 at 05:46 PM.
    "The status quo is not sustainable. All of DoD needs to be placed in a large bag and thoroughly shaken. Bureaucracy and micromanagement kill."
    -- Ken White


    "With a plan this complex, nothing can go wrong." -- Schmedlap

    "We are unlikely to usefully replicate the insights those unencumbered by a military staff college education might actually have." -- William F. Owen

  5. #45
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Cross posting for reference

    Posted on another OEF thread: A variety of links and some will be cross-posted on other threads i.e. ANA & ANP. Not in order of priority.

    1) Britain calls for mini-surge in Afghanistan to help train army. Of note is the claim the UK can deploy only 3k of the 9k troops in Helmand and that the ANA now have 8k deployed in Helmand (which I simply find incredible) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/new...cle6851607.ece

    2) http://www.captainsjournal.com/ has some amazing reports on the ANA and ANP. This is the longest, citing many sources (many on SWC I'm sure) and covers both the ANA and ANP: http://www.captainsjournal.com/2009/...national-army/

    3) A Canadian OMLT veteran (from Kandahar Province) on the ANA, including literacy, training and more: http://www.snappingturtle.net/flit/

    davidbfpo

  6. #46
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default The price of working with the ANP

    The BBC News reports:
    Five British soldiers have been shot dead in Helmand Province, in an attack the UK military blamed on a "rogue" Afghan policeman.
    And a comment from an ex-UK commander:
    It will undermine trust, certainly in the short term, until we establish exactly what happened. And it wouldn't at all surprise me now if there aren't a lot of soldiers, British soldiers in Afghanistan, with their fingers very firmly on the trigger when they're around Afghan police and military.
    See:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8341659.stm and http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8341825.stm

    Not good news for Afghanisation and training the Afghans.

    davidbfpo

  7. #47
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default ANP police officer kills five UK soldier

    A few more details in follow-up reporting, notably the attack was within a compound: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...-strategy.html

    Commentary and links on:http://defenceoftherealm.blogspot.co...11/murder.html

    davidbfpo

  8. #48
    Council Member Firn's Avatar
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    A terrible day. Murderous treachery is the basest crime of all. Sadly this is soft spot with a angle of attack which is very difficult to deal with.

    Firn

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    Default A scathing indictment ....

    is this article in the Independent, 'Most of them were corrupt and stoned on opium':

    'Most of them were corrupt and stoned on opium'
    A senior serving soldier reveals how the Afghan policemen in Helmand are often a danger to the British forces they work with
    Thursday, 5 November 2009

    When I heard the news this morning, I thought "Christ, five in one go..." I was shocked and saddened – but I was not surprised that it had happened. I'm surprised it took this long.

    We went out to Helmand to mentor the Afghan National Police without understanding the level they were at. We thought we would be arresting people, helping them to police efficiently. Instead we were literally training them how to point a gun on the ranges, and telling them why you should not stop cars and demand "taxes".

    Most of them were corrupt and took drugs, particularly opium. The lads would go into police stations at night and they would be stoned; sometimes they would fire indiscriminately at nothing.
    I particularly interested in this comment:

    The Afghan army are a lot more switched on. They have started to stand up for themselves. But the police have not had the same investment. There is no point in pushing the army through to clear ground if you leave a void behind with the police.
    The primary problem in Astan is not military, but that of civil administration (part of the political effort, which is near FUBAR).

    Uncheerful

    Mike

  10. #50
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default UK deaths: updates

    Amidst the follow-up articles to the five deaths is this BBC report:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8344648.stm and a more general review of the ANP: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8343133.stm

    Note one of the five UK soldiers is the Grenadier Guards Regimental Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer 1); probably the most senior NCO to die to date. Plus the UK's most senior officer in Afghanistan comments:
    It's not the first time that an Afghan policeman or an Afghan soldier or indeed soldiers of other nations in other theatres have carried out this sort of atrocity. And regrettably I think we have to say it probably won't be the last. But it is a very rare event.
    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-05-2009 at 06:20 PM. Reason: Add second link

  11. #51
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    Default Title changed

    This thread was called 'Interagency Assessment of the Afghan Police' and has steadily become the main thread on the ANA, so the title has been changed to reflect what it contains.

    Undoubtedly some posts on the ANA are elsewhere.
    davidbfpo

  12. #52
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default A new local Afghan Police?

    This morning's BBC Radio 'Today' programme had an interview with two-star General Nick Carter, the regional ISAF (South) commander, in Kandahar, and whilst a few papers have picked up a comment on it was safer to use the roads under the Taliban; see: http://www.defencemanagement.com/new...y.asp?id=11503.

    I noticed this in response to the interviewer's comment on the appalling reputation of the ANP, when he challenges the General - will the people put their faith in the ANP?
    The challenge we have is to create a local, Pashtun police force (my bold), that is as respected as the army (ANA). Ultimately it will be a local police force that makes the population feel secure...
    From: http://news.bbc.co.uk/today/hi/today...00/8392231.stm and there is a short recorded interview. His bio is: http://www.nato.int/isaf/structure/bio/rc_s/carter.html

    Yes, that will be a challenge and where will the Afghans who want to serve in this way come from? Or do I see warlord militias in uniform soon?
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Police reform

    Police reform by RUSI, a Whitehall think tank:http://www.rusi.org/news/ref:N4B0D427DD18DD/ which links to the actual report; which I did skim read a week ago and was un-impressed (oh yes, I'm a member of RUSI).
    davidbfpo

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    Default ANP shoots ANP

    I missed this report, so thanks to NATO CIMIC's newsletter:
    UK press reports that on 29 November, an Afghan National Police (ANP) officer shot dead six fellow officers at a checkpoint in southwest Afghanistan. This is the second such event in the last two months.
    He was later found and killed by the ANA / ANP.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Official assessments

    on the Astan civil and criminal justice system, including the sorry state of the ANP, can be found at Afghanistan Justice Sector Support Program (JSSP).

    CNN reporter Michael Ware, for the last couple of nights, has been talking about making local security arrangements with local Pashtun tribal leaders, warlords and governors (often the same person ?) in the south and east.

    We'll see what the actions are.

    Regards

    Mike

  16. #56
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    Default Mainly ANP & lessons learnt

    A long article by Nir Rose, not a writer I am familiar with: http://www.bostonreview.net/BR35.1/rosen.php Somewhat dated as incidents were in July 2009, but ample illustrations of the issues we are aware of.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Nir Rosen appears in threads on occasion

    Here's one: LINK. A search will turn up a couple of others.

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    BR does a nice little roundup of opinion on Afghanistan based off Rosen's article from Andrew Exum, Syed Saleem Shahzad, Aziz Hakimi, Andrew Bacevich, and J. Alexander Thier here.

  19. #59
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    Default With police like this, what more do you need to win?

    Hat tip to an article by Christina Lamb in 'The Spectator', in a scathing IMHO review of the UK presence in Afghanistan.

    Link: http://www.spectator.co.uk/essays/al...-targets.thtml

    Amidst was this illustration of how the ANP behave:
    A recent report from the (US) Institute of War details how British forces took the district of Nad Ali last year, losing a number of soldiers. They then handed control over to the Afghan police, who set about raping young boys. Eventually the people got so fed up that they asked the Taleban to come back to protect them.
    The citation comes from a report by a US think tank and a slightly fuller account:
    The Afghan Police did not maintain a significant presence in the area (Nad Ali). Those who were present prior to September 2008 were distrusted by the local population. According to villagers in the area, “the government’s police force was so brutal and corrupt that they welcomed the Taliban as liberators.” According to accounts from local villagers, the ANP’s exploits included beatings, robbery and rape. Locals stated that police would practice “bachabazi” (sex with pre-pubescent boys); “if the boys were out in the fields, the police would come by and rape them… you can go to any police base and you will see these boys. They hold them until they are finished with them and then let the child go.
    Link:http://www.understandingwar.org/file...HelmandPDF.pdf

    I put this account recently to a UK Minister at a talk 'Why are we in Afghanistan' and it caused him to pause.

    The think tank has several others reports on the war, a more recent one is on Kandahar and the ANSF. Note the founder is Kimberley Kagan, a name that has appeared on SWC before.
    davidbfpo

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    David. Thanks for this, but I would disregard the Lamb item.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    Hat tip to an article by Christina Lamb in 'The Spectator', in a scathing IMHO review of the UK presence in Afghanistan.
    Lamb is a journalist, and a nice lady by all accounts. She has lived there and has done time on the ground, but her "poisonous" account of the 16 Air Assault ambush makes it patently clear she has no understanding of what she is seeing, and she seems to only be interested in the human and emotional stories - with entertainment value.
    What Lamb believes about military operations in A'Stan is interesting but irrelevant.
    Sit in a UK mess with Officers who have been on the ground, and they simply do not reference any journalistic opinion, except to point out 99% is wrong.
    I submit, we should all cease doing it as well. By various collect means, we do have access to the real facts, worthy of analysis.

    The citation comes from a report by a US think tank and a slightly fuller account:

    Link:http://www.understandingwar.org/file...HelmandPDF.pdf
    Thanks - this I will read!
    Last edited by William F. Owen; 01-27-2010 at 06:29 AM.
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