Report Outlines Progress in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2011 — Last year’s surge of U.S. and coali­tion forces into Afghanistan, with the simul­ta­ne­ous growth of Afghan forces, is lead­ing to tan­gi­ble progress for peace and pros­per­i­ty in Afghanistan, accord­ing to a bian­nu­al Defense Depart­ment report released last week.
The final com­po­nent of 30,000 U.S. surge forces reached Afghanistan last fall, com­ple­ment­ed by an addi­tion­al 10,000 coali­tion forces and more than 1,100 U.S. civil­ian per­son­nel, allow­ing for sig­nif­i­cant improve­ments in secu­ri­ty, gov­er­nance and the econ­o­my of Afghanistan, accord­ing to the Report on Progress Toward Secu­ri­ty and Sta­bil­i­ty in Afghanistan and the Unit­ed States Plan for Sus­tain­ing the Afghanistan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces.

Known as the “1230 Report” for its cita­tion in the 2008 Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act, the report assess­es the sit­u­a­tion in Afghanistan from Oct. 1 through March 31. Among its conclusions: 

— Addi­tion­al forces have allowed the coali­tion to expand into 34 dis­tricts that now have Afghan local police, com­pared to just eight dis­tricts with local police pres­ence in September. 

— Secu­ri­ty has improved in each of Inter­na­tion­al Secu­ri­ty Assis­tance Force’s six region­al com­mands. Afghan forces have improved such that they are in the lead for most oper­a­tions in the cap­i­tal of Kab­ul. As expect­ed, vio­lence has increased in the south­ern provinces of Hel­mand and Kan­da­har, as coali­tion and Afghan forces took away long-held insur­gent safe havens. 

— Sur­veys show Tal­iban influ­ence decreas­ing in key areas across the coun­try, with 75 per­cent of Afghans believ­ing it would be bad for the coun­try if the extrem­ist group returned to pow­er. That com­pares to 68 per­cent who felt that way at the end of the last report­ing peri­od in September. 

— Reports sug­gest increased fric­tion between rank-and-file insur­gents in Afghanistan and their lead­ers in Pak­istan. The nation­al government’s Afghan Peace and Rein­te­gra­tion Pro­gram has allowed more than 700 for­mer Tal­iban to rein­te­grate into Afghan soci­ety, and anoth­er 2,000 insur­gents are in the process of rein­te­gra­tion since the office was cre­at­ed in July.

— The Afghan nation­al secu­ri­ty forces are key to Afghan self-suf­fi­cien­cy, and the forces are grow­ing in num­bers and com­pe­ten­cy. The army has added 21,200 new recruits since the end of Sep­tem­ber, and the nation­al police have 15,030 new recruits since then. Also, 30,000 mem­bers of the secu­ri­ty forces have com­plet­ed lit­er­a­cy train­ing, and about 60,000 oth­ers are in lit­er­a­cy train­ing on any giv­en day. 

— The Afghan defense and inte­ri­or min­istries have freed up lead­er­ship bil­lets for secu­ri­ty forces, encour­aged mer­it-based pro­mo­tions, and recent­ly opened armor and sig­nals schools. 

— By the end of March, 74 per­cent of bat­tal­ion-sized army units were rat­ed “effec­tive with advi­sors” or “effec­tive with assis­tance,” com­pared to 51 per­cent at the end of Sep­tem­ber. In the nation­al police, 75 per­cent of units received that rating. 

— Effec­tive­ness has improved to the point that 95 per­cent of all Afghan army units and 89 per­cent of nation­al police are part­nered with coali­tion units. 

— A short­age of coali­tion train­ers and high Afghan attri­tion remain chal­leng­ing. Incen­tive pro­grams are being cre­at­ed to mit­i­gate attrition. 

— Afghanistan is show­ing improve­ments in gov­er­nance and devel­op­ment, with about half of the pop­u­la­tion liv­ing in areas of “emerg­ing” gov­er­nance, com­pared to 38 per­cent at the end of Sep­tem­ber. The nation­al government’s Afghan Civ­il Ser­vice Insti­tute has grad­u­at­ed 16,000 civ­il ser­vants since Oct. 1 and has placed 3,000 col­lege grad­u­ates in its intern­ship program. 

— Alle­ga­tions of vot­er fraud from the Sep­tem­ber nation­al elec­tions con­tin­ue to rever­ber­ate, but have not deterred local elec­tions, such as one in March in which 75 per­cent of reg­is­tered vot­ers in Helmand’s Mar­ja dis­trict voted. 

— A lack of infra­struc­ture remains a chal­lenge, but improve­ments are hap­pen­ing with pub­lic projects such as a new rail­way link from the north­ern city of Mazar-e-Sharif to Uzbek­istan, a new pow­er trans­mis­sion line into the Afghan cap­i­tal of Kab­ul, a run­way exten­sion at Her­at Air­port, and exten­sive road renovations. 

— Sig­nif­i­cant polit­i­cal chal­lenges remain in Afghanistan, and cor­rup­tion and crim­i­nal net­works are a prob­lem, but eco­nom­ic devel­op­ment, includ­ing from for­eign investors, has poten­tial for promis­ing gains. The demand for ener­gy far exceeds its cur­rent sup­ply, and the U.S. Agency for Inter­na­tion­al Devel­op­ment over­sees sev­er­al projects for improvement. 

— The nation­al gov­ern­ment con­tin­ues to devel­op the min­ing indus­try, which has grown by 30 per­cent in two years since the U.S. Geo­log­i­cal Sur­vey esti­mat­ed Afghanistan’s untapped min­er­al resources to be val­ued at as much as $3 trillion. 

The report also found sig­nif­i­cant progress in the dis­tri­b­u­tion of telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions ser­vice, health care, and education. 

“The 2010 surge of ISAF forces and civil­ian per­son­nel, and the ongo­ing surge of [Afghan forces], has allowed ISAF to get the inputs right in Afghanistan for the first time,” the report says. 

The next report is due at the end of October. 

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Face­book and/or on Twit­ter

Team GlobDef

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist GlobalDefence.net im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. GlobalDefenc.net war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →