The Afghan National Security Forces include the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP).
In this quarter, the ANA successfully carried out a number of kandak- (battalion) sized operations, demonstrating improvements in its abilities to plan and execute its security responsibilities within Panjwayi District. The planned November runoff for the presidential election was supported by ANA security preparations, and security plans for Eid celebrations were successfully developed without assistance from coalition forces.
In December 2009, Canada congratulated the
Afghan National Army on the graduation of 39
students from its second Junior Officer Staff
Course (JOSC) in Kabul. The JOSC is the
primary component of the Staff and Language
Training Centre – Afghanistan (SLTC-A)
project, which was announced by the
Government of Canada in 2008.
Canadian Forces in Afghanistan are also involved in several initiatives designed to improve security on a national level, largely through our active support to ISAF headquarters and the new ISAF Joint Command. In addition to providing the ISAF chief spokesperson, Canada leads the ISAF Joint Command “Plans and Projects” organization, which translates counterinsurgency plans into concrete missions and increased support for governance and development initiatives. In direct support of the ANSF at the national level, Canada contributes expertise and leadership to the NATO Training Mission – Afghanistan , and is the lead nation for the Afghan Army Junior Officers Staff Course, from which 39 students graduated in December.
The 2011 Canadian objective for the ANA —that the ANA in Kandahar will demonstrate an increased capacity to conduct operations and sustain a more secure environment in key districts of Kandahar, with support from ISAF allies—continues to be challenged by issues relating to attrition, retention and recruiting. Leave granted to soldiers around the Eid holiday and following the presidential elections likely contributed to decreased ANA capacity in this quarter. Until targeted ANA growth is realized, benchmarks for shouldering the security burden and leading security operations will continue to be a challenge. A 40 percent pay increase for ANA soldiers appears to have stimulated recruiting, an impact that will continue to be monitored.
In this quarter, Canadian civilian police and correctional services specialists launched a number of training, mentoring and institution-based initiatives in support of our established objective for the Afghan National Police: that by 2011, the ANP will demonstrate an increased capacity to promote law and order in key districts of Kandahar, supported by justice-sector and corrections capabilities.
Among key achievements this quarter was the signing of the Kandahar Model Police Project (KMPP) Charter by the Afghan Minister of the Interior and the Canadian Ambassador. Designed to assist with stability and security improvements, the KMPP focuses on teaming ANP officers with Canadian police mentors, and on making the ANP more responsive to the people of Kandahar and more accountable to government. Although the KMPP will only be initiated in Kandahar province for now, the signing of the charter effectively commits the Afghan government to support its implementation in Kandahar.
Sustainable growth and maintenance of acceptable quality standards are major challenges with respect to the ANP and corrections officers. Recruitment, retention and attrition of police officers, exacerbated by low pay and constant security threats, are issues that continue to challenge Canadian mentors and trainers.
In this quarter, Canada supported the approval of an ANP pay and incentive package aimed at stemming attrition and increasing recruitment—a package that included a pay raise for all ANP (bringing them to parity with ANA salaries), a longevity raise every three years, and an increase in Hazardous Duty Incentive Pay for high- and medium-threat areas. Canada supports ANP salaries through a significant contribution to the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan.
As a final note on ANSF progress in this quarter, it is widely recognized that securing Kandahar province and its capital is critical to the entire counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan . As the birthplace of the Taliban, and therefore an important symbolic target, and as an economic hub, the security of Kandahar is pivotal to Afghanistan 's integrity as a viable, multi-ethnic nation. Canadian-led advancements in achieving stability in the south are essential to achieving a sustainable peace at the national level across all of Afghanistan.