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This handbook provides basic reference information on Afghanistan, including its geography, history, government, military forces, and communications and transportation networks. This information is intended to familiarize military personnel with local customs and area knowledge to assist them during their assignment to Afghanistan.
Understanding master narratives can be the difference between analytic anticipation and unwanted surprise, as well as the difference between communications successes and messaging gaffes. Master narratives are the historically grounded stories that reflect a community’s identity and experiences, or explain its hopes, aspirations, and concerns. These narratives help groups understand who they are and where they come from, and how to make sense of unfolding developments around them. As they do in all countries, effective communicators in Afghanistan invoke master narratives in order to move audiences in a preferred direction. Afghan influencers rely on their native familiarity with these master narratives to use them effectively. This task is considerably more challenging for US communicators and analysts because they must place themselves in the mindset of foreign audiences who believe stories that — from an American vantage point — may appear surprising, conspiratorial, or even outlandish.
This guide is designed to provide NATO partners and troop contributing nations (TCNs) participating as part of the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) a common understanding of Security Force Assistance (SFA) activities. It provides a summary of the ISAF SFA concept as well as guidance and information concerning SFA activities, countering the insider threat, mission critical tasks, and training requirements in support of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF).
The value of exploded ordnance scrap metal and UXO that can be collected from CF artillery ranges is a lucrative risk the Afghan population is willing to take. Reports indicate that Afghan adults send their children to the properly marked CF artillery ranges, after live fire and calibration training events, in order to collect exploded ordnance scrap metal to sell.
Reducing corruption and increasing accountability are important components of the U.S. reconstruction strategy in Afghanistan. Since 2002, the United States has appropriated over $96 billion for reconstruction assistance in Afghanistan and, as part of that assistance, has designated numerous programs or activities to directly or indirectly help strengthen the ability of Afghan government institutions to combat corruption. In 2010, in line with a commitment to provide more assistance directly to the Afghan government, the United States and other donors committed, in part, to providing technical assistance to develop the Afghan government’s capacity to reduce corruption. The ability of the Afghan government to deliver services to its citizens without the illicit diversion of resources is crucial to the country’s development and the government’s standing as a legitimate, sovereign authority. Further, as Afghanistan subsequently enters a transformation phase during which it will need to rely on progressively smaller amounts of funding from international donors, it must work to ensure that the revenue it generates is not susceptible to graft and corruption.
A Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is a civil-military organization, task-organized to a geographical province, whose purpose is to extend the reach and legitimacy of the Central Government of Afghanistan by developing a self-sustaining, peaceful, civil-society. It is a tactical organization with strategic impact. The ratio of military to other governmental, United Nations (UN), and non-governmental organizations depends heavily on the degree to which the area is pacified. The success of a PRT is measured by its ability to increase Central Government capacity and good governance as well as to, “Seize the human terrain and defeat the enemy.” One important element of this is to identify and mentor key Afghan personnel in democratic governance and leadership.
Afghanistan cultivates, produces and process narcotics that are a threat to the region and worldwide. However, the international community also needs to understand that Afghanistan itself is a victim of this phenomenon. The existence of hundreds of thousands of problem drug users, as well as decades of civil war, terrorism and instability are all related to the existence of narcotics in the country. According to the findings of this survey, the total area under cultivation was estimated at 154,000 hectares, an 18 per cent increase from the previous year. Comparisons of the gross and net values with Afghan’s licit GDP for 2012 also serve to highlight the opium economy’s impact on the country. In 2012, net opium exports were worth some 10 per cent of licit GDP, while the farmgate value of the opium needed to produce those exports alone was equivalent to 4 per cent of licit GDP. On the basis of shared responsibility and the special session of the United Nation’s General assembly in 1998, the international community needs to take a balanced approach by addressing both the supply and the demand side equally. In addition, more attention needs to be paid to reduce demand and the smuggling of precursors as well as provide further support to the Government of Afghanistan.
The findings of the 2013 Opium Risk Assessment in the Southern, Eastern, Western and Central regions points to a worrying situation. The assessment suggests that poppy cultivation is not only expected to expand in areas where it already existed in 2012, e.g. in the area north of the Boghra canal in Hilmand province or in Bawka district in Farah province but also in new areas or in areas where poppy cultivation was stopped. In eastern Afghanistan, in Nangarhar province, farmers resumed cultivation even in districts where poppy has not been present for the last four years. In the Northern and Northeastern region, the provinces of Balkh and Takhar which were poppy-free for many years are at risk of resuming poppy cultivation.
The large-scale population survey on the extent of bribery and four sector-specific integrity surveys of public officials undertaken by UNODC and the Government of Afghanistan in 2011/2012 reveal that the delivery of public services remains severely affected by bribery in Afghanistan and that bribery has a major impact on the country’s economy. In 2012, half of Afghan citizens paid a bribe while requesting a public service and the total cost of bribes paid to public officials amounted to US$ 3.9 billion. This corresponds to an increase of 40 per cent in real terms between 2009 and 2012, while the ratio of bribery cost to GDP remained relatively constant (23 per cent in 2009; 20 per cent in 2012).
February 15, 2013 in Afghanistan
Kabul Bank’s controlling shareholders, key supervisors and managers led a sophisticated operation of fraudulent lending and embezzlement predominantly through a loan-book scheme. This resulted in Kabul Bank being deprived of approximately $935 million funded mostly from customer’s deposits. The loan-book scheme provided funds through proxy borrowers without repayment; fabricated company documents and financial statements; and used information technology systems that allowed Kabul Bank to maintain one set of financial records to satisfy regulators, and another to keep track of the real distribution of bank funds. Shareholders, related individuals and companies, and politically exposed people were the ultimate beneficiaries of this arrangement. Over 92 percent of Kabul Bank’s loan-book – or approximately $861 million – was for the benefit of 19 related parties (companies and individuals).
This handbook is written for you, the embedded training team (ETT) member. Traditionally, this mission was reserved for Special Forces’ units or teams. With the revision of Army Field Manual 3.0, Operations, this is now a mission for general purpose forces. The Army has not yet officially designated one organization or agency as the ETT proponent; therefore, information concerning TTs circulates at all levels. This handbook has been vetted by the Joint Center for International Security Forces Assistance, 1st Infantry Division, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, and the Center for Army Lessons Learned Integration Network.
October 29, 2012 in Afghanistan, Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization
This field guide provides small unit leaders and individual Soldiers and Marines a proven collection of actions to focus their efforts while attacking networks. Primarily, these actions consist of mission analysis, briefing, and execution and are adapted for use by these small unit leaders in a population-centric operating environment.
NATO/ISAF engagement in Afghanistan in 2010 was characterised by a refreshed, comprehensive civ-mil strategy as reflected in a substantial force uplift, significant progress in the growth and development of the Afghan National Security Forces, and discernable campaign progress in priority districts. These were reflected in the NATO/ISAF Strategic Communications Framework 2010. In parallel, political events, including the London Conference, the Consultative Peace Jirga, the Kabul Conference, Afghan Parliamentary elections and the NATO Summit in Lisbon, helped define a clear political roadmap for Afghanistan. These developments are reflected in the Lisbon Summit Declaration which provides political guidance for the focus of our efforts in 2011 and reaffirms that NATO’s mission in Afghanistan remains the Alliance’s key priority.
An Open Source Center translation of a decree issued by Hamid Karzai in July 2012 on fighting corruption in Afghanistan.
The U.S. military has long been committed to upholding the law of armed conflict and minimizing collateral damage. This includes the killing or wounding of noncombatant civilians — described in this handbook as civilian casualties or CIVCAS — as well as damage to facilities, equipment, or other property. Due to several factors, the impact of CIVCAS has increased to the point that single tactical actions can have strategic consequences and limit overall freedom of action. These factors include: the increased transparency of war, where tactical actions can be recorded and transmitted worldwide in real time; increased expectations for the United States’ conduct of war in light of improved precision and overall capabilities; and the enemy exploitation of CIVCAS to undermine U.S. legitimacy and objectives.
Despite the continuous counter-narcotics efforts of the international community and the Afghan government throughout the past decade, Agence France-Presse wrote in April 2012 that Afghanistan continues to be a major contributor to the global drug supply. Approximately 90% of the world’s opium, most of which is processed into heroin, originates in Afghan fields. While potential opium production in Afghanistan peaked in 2007, poppy cultivation has recently risen. For instance, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) marked a 61% increase in the potential opium production between 2010 and 2011. A separate UNODC report from 2010 states that drugs and bribes are equivalent to approximately a quarter of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The aim of reintegration is to stabilize local areas by convincing insurgents, their leaders and their supporters to cease active and/or passive support for the insurgency and to become peaceful members of Afghan society. Reintegration will supplement the continuing lethal and non-lethal activities that form a part of counterinsurgency operations. Reintegration will complement efforts to support political, governance, social and economic opportunity within communities. U.S. support for the Afghan Reintegration Programs must be attuned to Afghan culture.
Afghanistan presents a unique challenge to U.S. Army forces in the geographical, cultural, economic, political, and security dimensions. Providing protection and security to a unique and diverse tribal population is an essential aspect of our counterinsurgency strategy. The proficiency, integrity, and loyalty of Afghan police forces are essential to accomplishing a secure environment and to sustaining success. The following articles cover a range of issues related to SFA and the training of Afghan national police and border police with the specific intent of establishing best practices and lessons learned. The collection should not be considered all-inclusive. This is an effort to capture relevant articles published in recent professional journals or maintained by the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) and other joint archives to inform Soldiers about relevant observations, insights, and lessons and to provide a historical document for future reference.
This paper provides a comprehensive introduction to Afghanistan’s various police agencies, where their authority originates, how they are organized, and the stated purpose and responsibility of each. The paper does not include status or capability information on these agencies with the intent to preserve its utility as a long-lasting reference document. The reader should refer to the IJC IDC’s State of the ANSF and other available intelligence and open source products for current status and capability information on Afghan police agencies.
U.S. Army Human Terrain Team Report: Afghan National Army and Coalition Forces Partnership in Khost and Paktiya
Members of Human Terrain Team AF01 embedded with a U.S. cavalry squadron from November to December 2011. Our goal was to understand the dynamics that influence partnering between the Afghan National Army (ANA) and Coalition Forces (CF) and how those dynamics impacted ANA effectiveness in gaining the Afghan population’s support. We conducted 22 interviews with U.S. Army personnel, including U.S. enlisted Soldiers and officers, U.S. troop commanders, police trainers, and ANA mentors. In addition, we conducted 21 interviews with high- and low-ranking ANA enlisted Soldiers and officers and Afghan police officers. We accompanied U.S. forces on non-kinetic missions to villages throughout Khost and Paktiya to gather perceptions from the Afghan civilian population.