Military Adaptation in Afghanistan

Military Adaptation in Afghanistan

Military Adaptation in Afghanistan

Military Adaptation in Afghanistan

Synopsis

When NATO took charge of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan in 2003, ISAF conceptualized its mission largely as a stabilization and reconstruction deployment. However, as the campaign has evolved and the insurgency has proved to more resistant and capable, key operational imperatives have emerged, including military support to the civilian development effort, closer partnering with Afghan security forces, and greater military restraint. All participating militaries have adapted, to varying extents, to these campaign imperatives and pressures.

This book analyzes these initiatives and their outcomes by focusing on the experiences of three groups of militaries: those of Britain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the US, which have faced the most intense operational and strategic pressures; Germany, who's troops have faced the greatest political and cultural constraints; and the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Taliban, who have been forced to adapt to a very different sets of circumstances.

Excerpt

Theo Farrell

The current war in Afghanistan has been ongoing now for almost a decade. How have Western states and militaries adapted to the challenges of this war? The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) took charge of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan in 2003, and gradually expanded ISAF out from Kabul to the provinces from 2004 to 2006. Most of the European partners in ISAF conceptualized the mission their forces would conduct not as war at all, nor even counterinsurgency (COIN), but as a stabilization and reconstruction, only to find out that in Afghanistan this might actually require significant combat. How have their armed forces and the political leadership reacted? As ISAF expanded into the south and east of Afghanistan, it encountered a far more resistant and capable insurgency than had been anticipated. How did NATO and its member states respond? And as the campaign has evolved, key operational imperatives have clearly emerged, including military support to the civilian development effort, closer partnering with Afghan security forces, and greater military restraint. How have the different militaries in ISAF adapted in response to these imperatives?

History clearly shows that war forces states and their militaries to adapt. So it has been for the NATO partners in Afghanistan. All have adapted, in various ways and to varying extents, to campaign imperatives and pressures. This book explores how they have done so. We explore the extent and processes of military adaptation. Most of the cases we examine—Britain, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States—have been involved in the fighting in the south and east of Afghanistan. Because of this these states and militaries have faced the most intense operational and strategic pressures to adapt. We also examine the . . .

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