ISAF Transfers Parwan Province Security to Afghan Forces

PARWAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan, Dec. 2, 2011 — Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, com­man­der of the Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force, and U.S. Ambas­sador to Afghanistan Ryan C. Crock­er wit­nessed the secu­ri­ty respon­si­bil­i­ties for Par­wan province trans­ferred to Afghan forces at a cer­e­mo­ny held in the provin­cial cap­i­tal of Charikar today, mil­i­tary offi­cials report­ed.

The trans­fer comes dur­ing Afghanistan’s sec­ond stage of secu­ri­ty tran­si­tion, known as Tranche 2, the sec­ond of four stages of tran­si­tion announced at the Lis­bon Sum­mit last year, offi­cials said. Par­wan province is the first of many loca­tions under Tranche 2 to enter the tran­si­tion process as defined by Afghan Pres­i­dent Hamid Karzai.

“Togeth­er, with the areas that have pre­vi­ous­ly begun tran­si­tion, half of Afghanistan’s pop­u­la­tion will be under the pro­tec­tion of their fel­low coun­try­men: Afghan sol­diers, Afghan police­men, and Afghan guardians and patrol­men who will take the lead in ensur­ing that tran­si­tion is irre­versible,” Allen said.

The tran­si­tion list of areas intend­ed for the sec­ond tranche of tran­si­tions cov­ers 18 provinces, with some includ­ing the entire province while oth­ers cov­er city or dis­trict areas, offi­cials said. Across the coun­try this month, ISAF and Afghan secu­ri­ty forces will part­ner to secure places that only two years ago would have been seen as beyond the reach of Afghanistan’s secu­ri­ty forces.

“It is well that we should mark this occa­sion here in Par­wan,” Allen said. “Dur­ing the dark­ness of the Tal­iban, Par­wan was a key avenue of approach to Kab­ul. Now, Par­wan is part of Afghanistan’s approach to the future … . This future will be brought forth by com­mon effort between the province and the nation­al-lev­el min­istries.”

The ISAF com­man­der point­ed out future dis­trict projects and NATO train­ing mis­sions designed to facil­i­tate a smooth tran­si­tion toward 2014.

“We will sup­port the Afghan gov­ern­ment as it strength­ens gov­er­nance and rule of law — two key pil­lars of sus­tain­able tran­si­tion, and togeth­er, we will look for oppor­tu­ni­ties to cre­ate the kind of pos­i­tive change that those two pil­lars can bring to local com­mu­ni­ties,” Allen said. “We must remind our­selves that tran­si­tion is a process, not an end state, and there will be fur­ther chal­lenges as we move toward 2014.”

Allen reit­er­at­ed that the tran­si­tion process, as in Par­wan, is not an “exit strat­e­gy” for the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty in Afghanistan. It is, he said, a “suc­cess strat­e­gy.”

Through­out the week, most of Par­wan province, and six oth­er provinces, 48 dis­tricts, and sev­en munic­i­pal­i­ties, will also start the secu­ri­ty trans­fer process.

From an Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force Joint Com­mand News Release