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Afghanistan Update 6/12

Posted by The Agonist on June 12th, 2011

From our partners at The Agonist

After 10 years, no security unit is fit to take over from coalition in Afghanistan

Not a single Afghan police or army unit is capable of maintaining law and order in the war-torn country without the support of coalition forces, The Independent on Sunday can reveal. Almost a decade after international troops were sent in to overthrow the Taliban and help to establish a functioning democracy in Afghanistan, a combination of poor training, lack of numbers, corruption and illiteracy has left the country unable to protect its own people.

The grim official assessment of the capabilities of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is a major blow to the hopes of a troop withdrawal by 2014, a timescale that assumes the ANSF will be able to start taking the lead in fighting the Taliban from next month. The commander of Nato’s mission to train the ANSF has admitted the task will not be complete until at least 2016.

This comes after a decade in which tens of billions of dollars have been spent building up the Afghan army and police. Yet they remain too dependent on coalition forces, according to the latest progress report on Afghanistan from the US Department of Defense. It cites assessments made in February that show how, of more than 400 Afghan units, none is rated as independent – defined as capable “without assistance from coalition forces”.

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