Second memorandum from the Ministry of
The attitude of the people towards the International
military presence inside Afghanistan
The command and control relationship between the
ISAF and OEF missions
1. Command and Control (C2) in Afghanistan
is currently exercised by two separate Headquarters (HQs), one
for ISAF operations in the North and West and the other for US-led
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) (which covers the South and East,
and all Counter-Terrorism (CT) operations). Coordination and deconfliction
of operations is ensured by the placement of liaison officers
from each HQ in the other. Once NATO forces are fully in place
in the South (Stage 3 area), C2 for that geographical area will
transfer to HQ ISAF. The next step, in accordance with the agreed
NATO operational plan, would be for the East (Stage 4) to be transferred
to ISAF C2, at which point the whole of Afghanistan will be under
NATO command for all operations except CT, no decision on Stage
4 has however been taken.
2. The detailed C2 organisation once both
Stages 3 and 4 are complete remains to be finalised, although
the broad principles have been agreed. The single NATO HQ in Afghanistan
will command all ISAF forces conducting security and stabilisation
operations. It is likely that the Commander will have two or three
deputies, one of whom will be a US officer who will be "double-hatted"
with responsibilities for US-led Counter-Terrorism (CT) operations
in Afghanistan in addition to his ISAF role; he would be responsible
to USCENTCOM for CT operations, since CT is not part of the ISAF
mission. This C2 arrangement will clearly offer advantages in
terms of coordination and deconfliction, not least through the
collocation of commanders and staff working on each type of operation.
3. In terms of C2 for fixed-wing air support,
the arrangements post Stage 3 and 4 expansion will accord with
well-established principles and doctrine for Air C2, which are
designed to ensure that the inherent responsiveness, flexibility
and range of air power is utilised to best effect. HQ ISAF's air
department will prioritise and designate the tasking for ISAF
aircraft. To ensure the safe deconfliction and coordination of
all air operations over Afghanistan (including any supporting
CT operations), this tasking and the overall airspace plan will
be issued from the regional Combined Air Operations Centre (CAOC)
in Qatar, which will contain an embedded team from HQ ISAF. A
further benefit of using the CAOC for coordination is that, since
it has responsibilities for air operations across the wider region
(including air operations in Iraq), it has the ability to reprioritise
the allocation of long-range aircraft to provide additional support
from non-ISAF aircraft to high-priority ISAF operations should
that be required. Clearly, air support for the protection of friendly
forces on the ground would always be a top priority mission; aircraft
will be diverted from other tasks to assist "troops in contact"
when required and other aircraft will also be held on short-notice
"ground alert" for such missions.
Clarification of the UK's policies and responsibilities
towards people arrested during military operations. In particular
whether people detained by ISAF forces have been, and will be
in future, handed over to US control
4. The legal authority for troops deployed
under the ISAF to arrest and detain derives from a series of United
Nations Security Council Resolutions, most recently UNSCR 1623
(2005), and by agreement with the Government of Afghanistan. These
contain authorisations permitting use of all necessary measures
to fulfil the ISAF's mission. ISAF policy, agreed by NATO, is
that individuals should be transferred to the Afghan authorities
at the first opportunity and within 96 hours, or released. Counter-terrorism
is not an ISAF task.
5. NATO Rules of Engagement set out the
circumstances in which individuals may be detained by ISAF troops,
but do not cover their subsequent handling. As has been the policy
of successive governments, we are unable to comment further on
the Rules of Engagement under which our forces or those of other
NATO Allies deploy, as this may compromise the safety of our troops.
6. Work continues within NATO on clarification
of detention issues, in discussion with the Afghan government,
as NATO prepares for expansion beyond the North and West of Afghanistan.
Handling of detainees after detention is a matter for individual
states to negotiate with the Afghan Government as appropriate.
7. Since 2001 we have detained in Afghanistan
on very few occasions, and all individuals were subsequently released.
The UK has not transferred any detainee to the Afghan authorities
or into the custody of US forces, and there are currently no individuals
being detained under UK authority in Afghanistan. Current UK policy
is not to detain individuals unless absolutely necessary; and
indeed it has rarely been necessary to do so in ISAF's current
area of operation.
8. Nevertheless, we recognise the possibility
that, as we expand ISAF into the more challenging security environment
in the south, British troops may more often be exposed to situations
in which it becomes necessary temporarily to detain individuals.
In such cases the NATO agreed policy of releasing or handing over
suspects in as short a time as possible and within 96 hours to
the Afghan authorities will still apply. The UK is currently discussing
arrangements with the Government of Afghanistan which will cover
the possible future transfer of any individual to the Afghan Authorities
following detention by UK forces.
9. As the Committee is aware, we have deployed
troops to prepare the ground for the future UK deployment to Helmand
Province. They are under Coalition rather than ISAF command but
should the need arise for them to arrest and detain an individual
the same UK principles and guidelines on prisoner handling would
apply to them as apply to British troops deployed under the ISAF.
The structure and funding of the Afghan Drugs
10. As the lead G8 nation, the UK is co-ordinating
international efforts to assist the Government of Afghanistan
(GoA) to tackle the counter narcotics (CN) trade. Essential to
this is the delivery of the GoA's updated National Drugs Control
Strategy (NDCS), which was officially launched at the London Conference
on Afghanistan (31 January-1 February). The NCDS sets out the
GoA's CN policies over the next three years and highlights four
key priorities where activity is likely to make the greatest impact
in the short-term, namely:
Targeting the trafficker and
Strengthening and diversifing
legal rural livelihoods.
Developing effective CN institutions.
11. The Afghan Drug Inter-Departmental Unit
(ADIDU), based in the UK, and the British Embassy Drugs Team (BEDT)
based in Afghanistan, were set up to co-ordinate our activity.
Reporting monthly to the Prime Minister, they work closely with
law enforcement and intelligence agencies to deliver progress
against the NDCS. ADIDU and BEDT include staff from other government
departments, including HM Revenue and Customs, Department for
International Development, the Home Office, and the Ministry of
Defence and Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA). The MOD currently
funds two members of the ADIDU.
Harmony guidelines on back-to-back tours identifying
which trades are most at risk of having their harmony guidelines
breached if the Afghanistan deployment is increased according
to current plans
12. The Department's ability to achieve
Harmony Guidelines, including separated service assumptions, is
dependent upon the level of operational activity the Armed Forces
are asked to undertake. Harmony is assessed as a trend over time
using the time between operational toursTour Interval.
Having taken into account present deployments in Iraq and the
planned increase in deployments in Afghanistan, on average the
Infantry, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Artillery, Royal Engineers
and Royal Signals will be approximately 20% deployed. An average
of 20% deployed results in an average Tour Interval of 24 monthswhich
is of course the "Harmony" target.
However, in 2006, as we increase our scale of
effort in Afghanistan, tour intervals are likely to breach harmony
levels in some areas such as medical, intelligence, helicopter
crews, logistic, provost and engineers. We continue to encourage
appropriate contributions from our NATO Allies in Afghanistan
in order to take some of the pressure off these areas.
Overall, we judge that the impact on our planned
deployment to Afghanistan and on readiness for future operations
What has been the cost of Operation Herrick in
Afghanistan in financial years 2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05 and what
is the projected cost for 2005-06 and 2006-07?
13. The total additional cost for the MOD's
deployment to Afghanistan for 2004-05 was £67 million. The
equivalent costs for previous years were: £311 million in
2002-03; and £46 million in 2003-04. We do not release the
detail of projected figures they will be made available at the
end of the financial year in accordance with standard MOD procedures.
Overall we expect UK deployments in Afghanistan to cost around
£1 billion over five years, commencing in the current financial
What is the MODs assessment of how effectively
PRTs are extending the reach of the Afghan government beyond Kabul?
14. There is no fixed template for a PRT.
Each is tailored to the prevailing security situation, socio-economic
conditions, terrain, and reach of the Government of Afghanistan.
Distinctions between the activities of PRTs are most obvious in
relation to development, humanitarian and reconstruction activity.
Generally, the UK does not support PRTs providing direct humanitarian
assistance as this may lead to confusion about the PRT's primary
role. However, the UK accepts that there may be areas of Afghanistan
and situations in which this would be appropriate.
15. The UK PRT has successfully supported
local disarmament initiatives, brokered by UNAMA, lobbied local
factional leaders to engage constructively in the process, and
monitored their compliance. Such initiatives have included the
return of weaponry to arsenals while allowing the local non-militia
population to register and keep personal weapons.
16. The PRT has played an active role in
assisting the central government and the UK Ambassador in brokering
solutions to local conflicts, including arrangement of cease-fires
following clashes between militias in the north. The PRTs provide
practical support from facilitating negotiations to providing
transport to ensure the authority of the central government is
reinforced during regional crisis.
17. The PRT has established good relations
with NGOs active in its area. This has done much to dispel initial
concerns from within the assistance community that the UK PRT
would attempt to militarize development aid and blur the line
between military and humanitarian activity. The PRT has made clear
that it seeks neither to control nor co-ordinate development work.
It does not task its military element with humanitarian assistance
work. Instead, and through continuing dialogue and liaison with
all regional actors, it seeks to facilitate the reconstruction
effort. The DFID representative in the PRT has a fund to support
a number of projects, all of which are carefully selected to avoid
cutting across the core areas of work undertaken by NGOs, and
to support the three basic objectives of the PRT. Activities funded
have included a range of specific reconstruction projects including
re-building police and judicial facilities, capacity-building
of public institutions, a public library, and support for 700
18. The UK PRT is increasingly becoming
involved in police reform, recognising the risk of an accelerating
Disarmament Demobilization and Reintegration process creating
a security vacuum. This involvement has taken several forms. After
a disarmament initiative in the Shulgareh Valley in August 2003,
the PRT helped to support the local police force through the provision
of basic equipment and continued mentoring. The PRT remains closely
involved in supporting the 300 Afghan national policemen deployed
from Kabul to Mazar-e Sharif in October 2003 to overcome the factional
nature of the existing force. The UK funds five UK police advisers/mentors
to work alongside US colleagues at the Regional Police Training
College in Mazar. This has led to close liaison between the PRT,
in particular the FCO and DFID representatives and police advisers,
and local police authorities, to explore how the trained recruits
might be most effectively deployed across the region. ANA and
local police elements now routinely conduct joint patrols in the
region. There is clear evidence to suggest that this action has
reduced levels of banditry in previously notorious areas. It has
also won the support of the local population, which clearly appreciates
the effective presence of indigenous, centralised security institutions.
Which government department is responsible for
activity in UK led PRTs? And how is the work of of MOD,DFID, FCO
and civilian agencies co-ordinated?
19. The UK/ISAF PRT model is the first PRT
to formalise the link between political, development and military
actors. Effectively there is a joint command team comprising the
PRT Commander (MOD), a Political Adviser (FCO) and a Development
Adviser (DFID). This team are jointly responsible for activity
in the PRT, and seek to integrate activities at an operational
level. Each department is assigned lead responsibility for certain
areas of work, to ensure that reporting lines, accountability
and monitoring is effectively carried out. The Helmand PRT will
see the MOD leading on most of the security related work, FCO
leading on elements of governance and DFID leading on economic
What funds have been spent on development work
in UK PRTs since 2003? What is the mixture of Government/aid agency
money spent on PRTs?
20. The UK PRTs have not undertaken development
work; instead they work on stabilisation activities, which may
be in the security, governance or development sectors, in order
to enable a more permissive environment for development work to
take place. DFID has been supporting the work of PRTs since 2003
through providing expert development advice to PRT command teams
and supplying a small budget for quick impact development activities
to the Development Adviser. To date DFID has spent approximately
£2 million in this way. DFID funding to PRTs is currently
one of the only sources of funding for PRTs to carry out quick
The Government of Afghanistan do not deliver
development assistance through PRTs; rather they employ implementing
partners in the provinces. Similarly the aid community do not
work directly with PRTs, and in many areas are not present in
the environments in which PRTs work as a result of the security
How do these funds compare to those spent in US
controlled PRTs? What development money has been spent in Helmand
province while under US control? Will this level of expenditure
be maintained when Helmand PRT is the responsibility of the UK?
21. US PRTs have a different approach to
stabilisation, focusing on explicit force protection or consent
activities. Several pools of funding exist in US PRTs; these include
US Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP), USAID's QIP programme
and the Defence Department's Overseas Humanitarian Disaster and
Civic Aid Programme (OHDACA). Funding levels vary from PRT to
22. In Helmand province US CERP has spent
some US$5.4 million, with an additional US$4.2 million allocated
for existing projects and up to US$5.4 million more committed.
USAID have allocated US$88.45m to Helmand for development activities
over three years. The impact of US spend is uncertain and actual
disbursement of US funds is lower than their allocation.
23. The UK plans to direct substantial funds
to the Helmand province, mainly through other mechanisms than
the PRT (primarily through the Government of Afghanistan's National
Programmes, for labour intensive public works, small loans and
rural infrastructure). A key difference will be that US spend
to Helmand has concentrated on immediate and direct impact (not
channelled through the GoA) whereas the UK will direct the vast
proportion of our money through the government. This will help
ensure international support is properly coordinated with Afghanistan's
national development strategy and needs, and will also help to
build the capacity of the GoA, thereby helping bring about conditions
in which international forces can disengage.
14 February 2006
50 Asterisks in the memorandum denote that part of
the document has not been reported, at the request of the MoD
and with the agreement of the Committee. Back