The ANSF include the ANA and the ANP. Canada’s 2011 objective for the ANA is that the ANA will demonstrate an increased capacity to conduct operations and sustain a more secure environment in key districts of Kandahar, with support from ISAF allies.
I would like to thank our Canadian partners for the significant contributions they have made towards the development and training of the Afghan National Army. We are now able to effectively plan and execute operations and foster key relationships with other security partners. - Brigadier General Habibi , ANA Commander, 1/205.
Recruitment, training and equipping of ANSF personnel are pivotal to attaining this objective in Kandahar, and for a sustainable transition of security operations to Afghan leadership. In this quarter, the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan (NTM-A), with the participation of Canada, focused on training ANSF leaders and Afghan trainers, allowing the ANSF to administer their own courses.
ANA and ANP recruitment numbers continued to rise in this quarter, and remained on track to meet October 2011 growth targets, although relatively high attrition and retention problems remain a significant concern. Well-trained, well-led and well-equipped Afghanistan Security Forces are an essential part of the Afghan government assuming lead responsibility for national and provincial security. To this end, Canada will be providing up to 950 Canadian Armed Forces trainers and support personnel to support the NTM-A. Up to 45 civilian police will also be deployed to provide mentoring and civilian policing skills to the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and ANP. By addressing attrition and retention challenges, existing gaps in leadership, literacy development and medical, army and police training, Canada will continue to be an integral part of the training of Afghan soldiers and police.
While mentoring of ANA personnel continued, two ANA kandaks demonstrated their increased capabilities by successfully conducting security operations in Kandahar City without partners or mentors. As noted by Brigadier General Habibi, ANA Commander of the first brigade, 205 Corps, “I would like to thank our Canadian Partners for the significant contributions they have made toward the development and training of the Afghan National Army. We are now able to effectively plan and execute operations and foster key relationships with other security partners.”
Perceptions of security among the people of Kandahar decreased slightly from the last quarter, but remain significantly better than a year ago. Overall, 59 percent of Kandaharis polled feel safe in their communities and 54 percent think that security is improving. These levels are considerably higher than what was observed over the same period in 2010, when just 38 percent reported feeling safe and 39 percent believed security was improving.
Afghan National Police officers on parade in
Training also remains a cornerstone of development for the ANP and, in this quarter, through the ongoing delivery of an officers training course to 26 new recruits and the delivery of two leadership and management courses to 40 ANP officers, the Government of Canada continued to enhance ANP capacity to plan, direct and manage daily operations. In Kandahar, the late Provincial Chief of Police, Khan Muhammad Mujahid, who was killed by a suicide bomber on April 15, 2011, established an Afghan Training Assistance Team, further signalling the transition to Afghan-led training in the province. The Training Assistance Team was set up so that the Kandahar police headquarters could properly assess and monitor police sub-stations and hold district police commanders accountable for personnel, logistics, operations and equipment including guns and ammunition.
In March, a ceremony was held to mark the transition of responsibility for the Kandahar Provincial Reconstruction (KPRT) Training Centre from the Government of Canada to the Afghan MOI and the NTM-A. The centre will become a satellite of the larger Kandahar Regional Training Centre, bringing it under the command of the ANSF. The ceremony highlighted the ongoing cooperation between Canada and Afghanistan in police reform and capacity building.
Canadian civilian police continued to mentor ANP officers at the Kandahar provincial ANP headquarters, and fostered leadership development through the individual mentoring of district chiefs of police in Dand and Panjwayi. Canadian police also assisted in the training of the Provincial Response Team in arrest, search and seizure. Canada achieved and then surpassed its police infrastructure target this quarter, completing, among other projects, a new police sub-station in Kandahar City that will serve as a model facility for the province.
The MOI took additional ownership of institutional reform within the MOI and ANP this quarter, by endorsing the recommendations made by the ministry’s Institutional Reform Working Group, co-chaired by Canada. Reform recommendations include creating independent civilian oversight, developing an effective internal affairs mechanism and implementing an enforceable Code of Conduct.
The MOI is also working to improve the quality of research and advice provided to the Minister. To assist in these efforts, Canada supported the ministry’s policy unit and contributed technical advice to improve a strategic planning system that will enable a periodic review of the National Police Plan. Canada also funded three policy workshops to train the next cadre of Afghan leaders in policy development.
The Canadian Forces are also engaged with the ANP. A Canadian major-general has been responsible for all aspects of ANP development at the NTM-A since its inception in November 2009. At the regional level, a team of 30 CF members are mentoring the ANP headquarters, which is responsible for all ANP operations and training throughout southern Afghanistan. Furthermore, CF Police Operations, Mentor and Liaison Teams are mentoring the ANP in the districts of Panjwayi and Dand in Kandahar province. Their role is to advise and assist the District Police Chief in both districts as he recruits new ANP, to help coordinate the training of new recruits and to ensure new ANP are properly equipped.
In this quarter, Canadian correctional experts trained an Emergency Response Team at Sarpoza prison, which included instruction on non-lethal options to crisis response that will provide security for inmates and staff. Canada also continued to support infrastructure projects at the prison, including upgrades to facilities for food production, and to electrical and plumbing systems to improve living conditions for inmates and staff.
The escape of over 480 inmates in April 2011 was, without a doubt, a setback for Afghans and the international community, including Canada, as it demonstrated the fragility of mentoring and training work at the prison as well as institutional weaknesses. This event will be addressed more fully in the next quarterly report. However, we should not let this event hide the fact that through Canada’s efforts, Sarpoza is now a better correctional facility than it was in 2007.
Canada’s assistance in reforming the justice sector in Kandahar is also a key factor in enabling the advancement of Afghan leadership with respect to the rule of law. Canada’s contribution at the Ministry of Justice significantly improved the ministry’s capacity to draft and revise Afghan laws, while an online legal database donated by Canada has facilitated legal research and awareness of current laws.
Canada achieved and then surpassed its justice infrastructure target this quarter, providing safer living and working conditions for justice officials in Kandahar. Canada also provided equipment to a number of key justice offices in Kandahar City and in surrounding districts, including the Huquq Department and the Special Juvenile Prosecutor’s Office. These initiatives enable justice officials to carry out their work on a permanent basis in the districts, which in turn extends government presence and increases access to formal justice for Afghans.
 Paraphrased from Brigadier General Habibi during an October 2010 video teleconference on Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.