Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan: Identifying Lessons for Future Efforts

Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan: Identifying Lessons for Future Efforts

Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan: Identifying Lessons for Future Efforts

Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan: Identifying Lessons for Future Efforts

Excerpt

Security force assistance (SFA) is a central pillar of the counterinsurgency campaign being waged by U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. The outcome of the campaign hinges, in large measure, on the effectiveness of the assistance provided to the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and other security forces, and the extent to which the armed elements of tribes, sub-tribes, and clans can be brought under government control. Yet senior U.S. military and civilian officials have posed many questions about the effectiveness of SFA in Afghanistan, and few empirically rigorous assessments exist to help answer these questions.

This monograph analyzes SFA efforts in Afghanistan over time. It documents the U.S. and international approaches to building the Afghan National Security Forces from 2001 to 2009, focusing primarily on the lessons and themes that emerged from extensive fieldwork in Afghanistan in 2009 and their implications for the U.S. Army. As part of our research, we also examined Soviet approaches to SFA in Afghanistan from the 1920s until 1989. That research will be published separately in a forthcoming companion document by Olga Oliker entitled Building Afghanistan’s Security Forces in Wartime: The Soviet Experience, MG-1078-A.

The findings of this monograph should be of interest to U.S. military and civilian officials involved in preparing and executing security force assistance, both in Afghanistan and beyond. It should also interest those both inside and outside the U.S. government who seek . . .

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