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Old 12-30-2014   #1
davidbfpo
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Default ANSF performance 2015 onwards

This is one of the five new threads on Afghanistan for 2015 onwards, its focus is ANSF performance.

There are a small number of OEF threads now closed on the:

1) ANA: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=5384
2) ANP: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=1584
3) ALP also appear in: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ad.php?t=10562

I do appreciate that there can be cross-over between the new threads, notably how the NATO mission interacts with the ANSF and Afghan politics.
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Old 01-01-2015   #2
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Default WHAM: ANA style?

Whatever happened in Helmand Province in this incident it is not encouraging:
Quote:
Afghan police are investigating an apparent army rocket strike on a wedding party that killed at least 28 people, many of them women and children. Police in southern Helmand province were looking into how soldiers came to fire a rocket at a house where a wedding was being celebrated late on Wednesday, the deputy provincial police chief, Bacha Gull, said.
The rocket appeared to have been fired from an army checkpoint near the house in Sangin district as guests waited for the bride to arrive, he said.
Police were “keeping an eye” on two army checkpoints to determine whether the soldiers manning them were engaged in a firefight with Taliban insurgents at the time or whether they fired the rockets arbitrarily. The strike wounded 51 people.
Link:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...-wedding-party


Somehow I doubt we will learn the truth. Nor will it be simple.


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Old 01-25-2015   #3
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Default Now the real fight begins: a mixed picture

One of the first comprehensive assessments of the ANSF, alongside the wider, mainly political context, by Professor Theo Farrell, of Kings War Studies, following a Q&A format:http://postwarwatch.com/2015/01/25/p...mixed-picture/

This theme did strike me as odd, about the ANA:
Quote:
Afghan army officers identify their primary mission as protecting the Afghan state in a very conventional sense. Their main concern is Pakistan, and the defense of Afghanistan against conventional Pakistani forces.....Yet this is not really what ANA commanders want to be doing.
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Old 01-26-2015   #4
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Default

This is just a vague thought, but here goes:
Quote:
Afghan army officers identify their primary mission as protecting the Afghan state in a very conventional sense. Their main concern is Pakistan, and the defense of Afghanistan against conventional Pakistani forces....

This sounds odd at one level (conventional attack from Pakistan being unlikely, insurgency being very real, etc) but at another level it seems like a possible source of asabiya and future stability. States and their armies are based on some notion of common identity and common mission. Counter-insurgency on behalf of the corrupt ruling elite may be their mission, but is a shaky basis for common purpose and asabiya. What works in other states will also work in Afghanistan (and vice versa, what does not work well elsewhere will not work well there either, in this context). This sense of mission may be a positive..

Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-26-2015 at 04:28 PM. Reason: fix quote
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Old 01-31-2015   #5
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Default What Campbell’s trying to hide is a disappearing army

I'd seen a headline on General Campbell restricting access to data previously published and missed its importance until this hitherto unkown blog comment appeared via Twitter:http://sunnyinkabul.com/2015/01/30/w...e-afghan-army/

Quote:
What General Campbell doesn’t want us to know is that the army that’s supposed to be taking over for the US to fight all the terrorist things? It’s disappearing. Even faster than usual.

So why is the Afghan Army quitting in droves? According to the Americans, it’s because…
…high operational tempo, sustained risk, soldier care and quality of life, and leave issues. Afghan casualties increased since the ANSF took the lead for security in June 2013. Although combat losses comprise a relatively small percentage of total ANSF attrition numbers, reducing ANSF casualties remains both a top morale and operational priority for ISAF and ANSF leaders.
But what’s underlying that is the uncertainty the Afghan forces feel after only a few years of existence. They haven’t been around long enough to know what it means to fight on their own. For most of those years they had their hands held by the most powerful military in the world. And by holding hands I mean we brought death from above in the form of all the A-10s and the B-1s and the F-16s and all the exploding things in the air over Afghanistan.
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Old 03-05-2015   #6
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Default The Hardest (and Most Important) Job in Afghanistan

Sub-titled:
Quote:
A week on the frontlines with the Afghan National Police.
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/08/ma...hanistan.html?

A good read, if depressing.
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Old 10-21-2015   #7
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Default Helmand: shrinking GIRoA presence

A lurid headline in today's Daily Telegraph 'Taliban seize British stronghold in Helmand as security unravels', as:
Quote:
A Western official said Lashkar Gah.. was now “under serious military pressure”....As many as 400 fighters are advancing on Chah-e Anjir only around 10 miles from Lashkar Gah.
Link:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-unravels.html

The headline ignores the fact the UK left Helmand Province a year ago, so it is no longer a British stronghold.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-14-2015 at 08:10 PM. Reason: This was in a stand alone thread
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Old 12-14-2015   #8
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Default Who has what land?

A short ISW report (8 pgs), with a map of Taliban activity across much of Afghanistan and the link:http://understandingwar.org/backgrou...iban-and-isis?
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Old 12-22-2015   #9
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Once again lurid headlines on the contest for Helmand, this time over Sangin and the reported deployment of UK & US SOF, plus 300 NATO advisers (with no combat role):http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...g-Sangin.html?

Slightly more detail:http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...pecial-forces?

Here is a key sentence:
Quote:
About 65 per cent of the province is now under insurgent control, the head of Helmand's provincial council, Muhammad Kareem Atal, said.
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Last edited by davidbfpo; 12-22-2015 at 09:17 PM. Reason: add 2nd link
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Old 02-06-2016   #10
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Default A RAND COIN scorecard

I have never been persuaded of such devices, but RAND does keep on producing:http://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1273.html

The two key points for me:
Quote:
Two factors remained absent in Afghanistan in 2015 but essential to success in historical COIN campaigns: disrupting flows of tangible support to the insurgents and a demonstration (and improvement) of commitment and motivation on the part of the Afghan National Security Forces, the primary COIN force since the coalition drawdown.
Three of the recommendations are laughable and have probably been said so many times before.

Would RAND or another other contractor "think tank" say "Enough, we've been there long enough, time to go"?
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Old 02-20-2016   #11
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Default Musa Qala: GIRoA leaves

Some classic Afghan quotes on this decision

The commander of the Afghan army's 215th corps, Mohammad Moeen Faqir:
Quote:
Their presence in the area did not mean anything...We will use them in battle with enemies in other parts of Helmand province
Citing Abdul Jabar Qahraman, presidential envoy for security affairs in Helmand
Quote:
There wasn't any deal....We learnt that there was no need to continue the fight in that area.
Link:http://news.yahoo.com/afghan-troops-...72916177.html?
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