The UK's foreign policy approach to Afghanistan and Pakistan - Foreign Affairs Committee Contents

4  Transition to Afghan control: creating the conditions for withdrawal?

65. The success of the Government's strategy and of the broader ISAF counter-insurgency campaign depends on more than just the military campaign. The other two key components are the creation of Afghan National Security Forces capable of maintaining security after ISAF withdraws, and a governance structure which is equally capable of withstanding pressure and, crucially, of delivering justice and fairness for Afghans. We consider the prospects for each below.

Progress on security transition

66. As we noted above, one of the UK's key goals in Afghanistan is to help create security conditions that will enable the withdrawal of UK combat troops by 2015. This necessitates the establishment of Afghan National Security Forces that are capable of maintaining security when ISAF withdraws. The UK's position is broadly in line with President Karzai's desire, as set out in his 2009 inaugural address, to ensure that Afghan forces are capable of taking over lead responsibility from ISAF for security in all of Afghanistan's 34 provinces by 2014. The UK supports plans for a phased security transition by 2014 which received formal international endorsement at the Kabul Conference in July 2010 and at NATO's Lisbon Summit in November 2010.[104]


67. To this end, the UK provides, or is the process of providing, 160 military personnel and three civilian secondees to the 1,300-strong NATO Training Mission Afghanistan (NTM-A) which is in charge of generating and building the capability of the Afghan National Security Forces.[105] The UK leads the Combat Arms Directorate, as the principal nation supplying the Infantry Branch School. It also provides personnel to the Afghan Defence University, the Officer Cadet School, the Counter Insurgency Academy, and the Non-Commissioned Office Training School. As a contribution to improving the quality of the Afghan National Police, the UK provides three police officers to NTM-A who provide strategic level advice on all aspects of civilian policing, including the implementation of the Focused District Development (FDD) programme and the development of police training curricula.[106] As of January 2010, the total size of the ANP was 116,856 officers. The UK also contributes to the EU's police reform mission (EUPOL), with 13 serving or retired officers currently deployed in Kabul and Helmand.[107] Officers perform a wide range of duties including advising the Deputy Minister of the Interior on police reform, leading the development of a Police Staff College, heading all of the ANP's anti-corruption work and mentoring the Head of the Counter-Terrorism Police.[108]

68. In Helmand, personnel are helping the Provincial Chief of Police develop a provincial policing plan and are building the criminal investigation department's capabilities at the provincial headquarters.[109] The UK has also developed a comprehensive approach to supporting police development, using resources drawn from EUPOL, the MOD, police and the military. The Government states that this has allowed influence to be exerted at the strategic, operational and tactical levels of policing (provincial, districts and local communities). Direct training to patrolmen and NCOs is delivered at the Helmand Police Training Centre in Lashkar Gah, where over 1000 patrolmen and 25 NCOs have graduated since it opened in December 2009. The UK military mentors the ANP across the province and UK civilian police provide strategic advice and mentoring to senior police leadership in District Police headquarters.[110] During our visit we were able to see for ourselves training of Afghan National Army and police recruits in both Kabul and Helmand, and to speak to British mentors whose work is clearly highly valued by a wide range of Afghan and ISAF partners. We commend their efforts.

69. It is not yet clear what roles UK forces will play in the post-2015 period and what shape and form British engagement will take, particularly in respect of military training and the recourse that may be had to the use of Special Forces. Giving evidence to the Defence Select Committee, the Secretary of State for Defence said that it was not possible to decide upon this at the moment as it would depend upon the situation and conditions at the time.[111]

70. We recommend that in its response to this Report, the Government explains what planning is currently being undertaken across different Departments on scenarios for UK engagement in Afghanistan after 2015.


71. Although the international community has been engaged in Afghanistan since 2001, it was not until 2007 that efforts to build Afghan forces began and, even then, those efforts prioritised force quantity over quality. In August 2009, our predecessor Committee detailed a series of criticisms and raised serious concerns about the quality of recruits, their training and a lack of appropriate resources, which the Government at the time stated would be addressed by NTM-A.[112]

72. During our visit we were briefed on the work of the multi-national, US-led NTM-A team responsible for training and developing the ANSF. The message was cautiously upbeat. We were told that in a bid to achieve quality and not just quantity, increased resources were now being diverted to army training (including that for non-commissioned officers) and that the US was said to be spending $2 billion a month through NTM-A for both ANA and ANP development.[113] The number of foreign trainers has doubled (ensuring better instructor-pupil ratios), army and police pay has also increased, literacy rates are improving, and attrition rates are better.[114] Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary told us that the Government is confident of achieving the goal of creating an army of 171,600 troops (currently 149,553)[115] and 134,000 police (currently 116,856)[116] by 31 October 2011. Speaking recently, Lieutenant-General (retd) Sir Graeme Lamb, former Commander of the Field Army at Land Command, said that "there are absolutely Herculean efforts going on out there to improve the quantity and the quality of the forces, and they will make a significant difference".[117]

73. However, the longer-term challenges facing trainers are of a significant magnitude. As the Foreign Secretary acknowledged, achieving quality, not just quantity is going to be difficult:

    […] Is the level of training the same level that you would get in a European or American army? No, it isn't, because the emphasis here is on driving up the strength as rapidly as possible, but […] the quality of training, the quantity of training and the way in which the troops in the Afghan forces then gain experience alongside NATO troops are all gathering pace and improving.[118]

74. Witnesses pointed to other intractable problems such as the lack of ethnic balance in the ANA and ANP. At present less than 3% of recruits are from the Pashtun south. As Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles observed, this can result in a situation in which the Afghan army "is almost as alien to the farmers of the Helmand valley as the 3rd Battalion, The Rifles or the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army".[119] General Sir Nick Parker, the former Deputy Commander, ISAF, recently told the Defence Committee that it is "incredibly important to the credibility of the ANSF in the south to get more recruits from the south".[120] Achieving ethnic balance in the Afghan National Police (ANP), which is widely regarded as a Tajik-dominated force, is proving equally problematic. As Gerard Russell commented, it is "very hard for those who do not speak Pashtun to do the job that particularly the police are meant to do, which is to integrate themselves […] and establish co-operative mechanisms with the community".[121] The Foreign Secretary accepted that achieving ethnic balance was an issue and said it would be important to address this "over time". However, he added that "it has to be seen against the context of the very rapid build-up of the Afghan National Security Forces and the huge improvement in the training of officers and non-commissioned officers that we have seen over the past year".[122]

75. A recent survey commissioned by the UN suggests that the ANP is only slightly more popular than the Taliban in the south of Afghanistan. It also found that the ANP's popularity has dropped over the past year from 67% to 48%. Nationwide, 60% of Afghans reported a significant level of corruption among police officers, and a quarter reported police favouritism on the basis of personal connections in the investigating of crimes.[123] The FCO maintains that whilst the ANP continue to suffer from serious problems such as corruption, low levels of education, lack of training, and heavy casualties as a result of fighting the insurgency, "progress is being made".[124] However, it also acknowledges "strong leadership from within the Ministry of Interior is essential to tackle embedded problems of corruption [...] as well as in providing a clear vision of the reforms required to build a national police force".[125]

76. Overall, in spite of the progress identified by the Government and the hard work which is clearly being undertaken by those in the field to improve standards, many of those who submitted evidence were unconvinced that the Afghan National Security Forces would be capable of taking lead responsibility by the end of 2014.[126] Gilles Dorronsoro told us that it was going to be "extremely difficult" to create an Afghan National Army and an Afghan National Police in the next three or four years, and said he was doubtful that the Afghan National Army will be able to stop or contain the Taliban in two years.[127] Gerard Russell stated:

    If you think about the Afghan National Army as a way to contain the Taliban, it's not going to work—first, because the Taliban are already penetrating the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police [and] secondly [because], the ethnic composition of the army is a real, serious problem. I don't see how you can train officers in two or three years, considering that the overall state structure is truly disappearing in a lot of places in Afghanistan. That is the problem. How can you build an army without a state?[128]

77. We conclude that in spite of substantial amounts of money being made available to train and develop the Afghan National Security Forces, and the obvious commitment and effort of UK and other personnel engaged in training and security transition, serious questions remain as to the quality of the force that will eventually emerge. It is regrettable that the issue of quality was not dealt with at an earlier stage in the international community's intervention and that it still appears to be playing second fiddle to force generation. Given that, despite considerable efforts, there can be no guarantee that the Afghan National Security Forces will necessarily be able to cope after ISAF withdraws, we further conclude that it is even more vitally important to pursue, swiftly, a process of political reconciliation.


78. As with so many other aspects of the UK's involvement in Afghanistan, when it comes to training the Afghan National Security Forces and transitioning security control, the UK is dependent upon its allies to contribute towards the achievement of common goals. At NATO's Lisbon Summit, allies agreed to a district-by-district phased transition of security control to Afghan forces; and yet, during our visit, we heard about the very real problems the NTM-A continues to face filling vacancies for military trainers. In order for it to sustain its training commitment and remain on schedule to reach NATO's agreed goals, an additional 760 trainers are needed. The UK provides seven of the Operational Mentor and Liaison Teams (OMLTs)[129] required and has lobbied allies to provide additional OMLTs to meet the existing shortfall. There are now 22 countries that either contribute to or have pledged to contribute to OMLTs. However, as the ANA expands and starts to take the security lead, there will be an increasing requirement for more. Speaking in December 2010, the Prime Minister stated that if security conditions continue to improve, the UK might be willing to re-assign some combat troops into training roles, helping to plug the shortfall.[130] As the ANA and ANP grow there will also be additional costs involved in sustaining both forces, which the Afghan government will not be able to sustain given its limited revenue stream.[131] On current estimates, it is thought that $6 billion a year would be needed simply to sustain the Afghan National Security Forces.[132] As yet, the Government has not provided any details as to what contribution the UK might be reasonably expected to make and what form, financial or otherwise, that may take.

79. We recommend that in its response to this Report, the Government sets out what steps it is taking to ensure that the withdrawal of NATO allies from Afghanistan in the coming months and years, and after withdrawal in 2014, does not result in unacceptable and additional military and financial burdens falling upon the UK.

Civilian transition: bolstering the Afghan state?

80. For many years in Afghanistan, following the West's intervention in 2001, the majority of resources made available by the international community have been deployed to support military attempts to defeat al-Qaeda and the insurgency instead of seeking to use these considerable means to tackle the conditions that gave rise to, and sustained, the insurgency in the first instance. Yet the importance to the success of the counter-insurgency campaign in Afghanistan of leaving in place a legitimate, functioning government when the West withdraws, cannot be underestimated. As Gerard Russell states "even if foreign forces could secure Afghanistan today, they would not be able to secure it forever. In the long-term, it is the Afghan government which has to achieve the social and political equilibrium which can sustain permanent peace. […] The presence of foreign forces may therefore be a necessary condition for peace in Afghanistan but it is obviously not a sufficient one."[133]


81. The current situation is of considerable concern. Disaffection with the Afghan government has been, and continues to be, high, despite 10 years of international assistance designed to bolster the Afghan state. A recent editorial piece in The Independent stated that:

    Again and again in Kabul one hears Afghans say that the Taliban may not be liked, but that the Afghan government and its US Allies are increasingly distrusted, even hated, by the mass of the population. It is this rapidly increasing disaffection, underestimated by foreign governments, that enables a maximum of 25,000 Taliban to hold their own against 140,000 US-led foreign troops in addition to the Afghan government's army and police.[134]

82. In many parts of the country, the Afghan government continues to be perceived to be corrupt and ineffective, and its officials unjust, predatory and benefitting from impunity. Second only to insecurity, bad governance is the issue that most troubles Afghans who were polled by the Asia Foundation. Its 2010 survey found that of those who believed the country was moving in the wrong direction, corruption was cited as a reason for pessimism by 27% of respondents (up from 17% in 2009). The other main reasons for pessimism identified by respondents included bad government (18%) and unemployment (16%).[135] A Western diplomat quoted recently in the New York Times stated, "We have metrics that show increased progress but those positives are extremely fragile because we haven't done enough about governance, about corruption. 2010 was supposed to be a year of change, but it has not changed as much as we hoped."[136]

83. A November 2010 report on progress in Afghanistan by the US Department of Defense stated that within the 124 districts considered to be key by the Coalition, only 38% of the population live in areas rated as having "emerging" or "full authority" Afghan governance.[137] This reflects no substantial change since March 2010 when the previous report was published. In key "swing areas", including Kunduz, Badghis and Ghor, the lack of effective state structures have allowed power vacuums to develop which Taliban, local, and other insurgent forces have ruthlessly exploited, stepping into the breach, and creating powerful systems of shadow government where none previously existed.[138] With no-one else to turn to, many Afghans tolerate the Taliban who "have more staying-power and determination than the Afghan government's civilian officials and police".[139] As one commentator stated, "Here's the fragility: the Afghans don't trust the Americans or the Afghan government yet. They supported the Taliban for years because it provided a kind of rough justice and security, and they don't know if the new power structure will last."[140] The result, as Christian Aid stated, is that "the Taliban have de facto control of many districts in the South and the East and have a strong presence in all the Southern provinces".[141]

84. According to Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles, "for many southern Pashtuns [The Taliban] represent a less bad alternative—a fairer, more predictable alternative than a corrupt and predatory government".[142] Jolyon Leslie told us that the international community's response had been to "vilify that and [say] "No, that isn't real government. What we can do is bring you real government." Yet this approach, as Mr Leslie explained, "does not cut any ice with Afghans at all, because we have not shown them real government, or we have not delivered it when we promised it, as they see it. Even where there is not head-on kinetic conflict between foreign forces and Afghan opposition, that is often what might swing it".[143]

85. In the north of the country, Ahmed Rashid writes that Tajik and Uzbek warlords are reported to have become so "rich and powerful that they barely listen to Karzai". He adds that Governors of northern provinces have created their own fiefdoms that are left alone by NATO forces based there, because removing them would create further instability".[144]


86. A successful counter-insurgency campaign depends upon a solid local partner. As Gerard Russell states, the major challenge for the stabilisation effort is that of Afghan leadership: "Can the country's leaders inspire its people to risk their lives to defeat the insurgency? If they cannot, then it is hard to imagine that foreigners can inspire them to do so—especially when those foreigners are present so briefly, and are not perceived as having delivered on past promises".[145]

87. The Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit observes that "it is increasingly evident that the absence of a credible Afghan partner and senior Afghan leadership poses the greatest threat" to good governance, and that key elements of the Afghan administration feel that "preventing the discovery of corruption, criticising Afghanistan's foreign partners, and perpetrating electoral fraud are the most effective means of clinging to power".[146] In a recent article, Richard Haas, of the Council on Foreign Relations, concluded that "two years of sustained investment and multiple but flawed elections suggest that the Afghan central government will not reach the point where it is considered effective and legitimate".[147] Others speak of the fundamental conundrum facing the UK and other states, insofar as they are committed to working with an administration which appears to be loathed by many ordinary Afghans. Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles told us that "President Karzai is a much better man than he is made out to be. He's gone from hero to zero, but the truth is somewhere in between. He's a great king, but a poor chief executive".[148] He added:

    Many of his instincts about civilian casualties and private security contractors are right. He is a true politician, a true retail politician, who feels what his people feel. He is just an absolutely hopeless administrator, and he doesn't realise that governing means choosing. He thinks that governing means avoiding a choice.[149]


88. A solid local partner may be a pre-requisite for success but so too, argued witnesses, are co-ordinated, and coherent international policies grounded in the realities of Afghan society which do not inadvertently undermine any progress that the Afghan state may make. Most were critical of the international community's track record thus far in these respects. Oxfam pointed to the problems that had arisen because of the international community's imposition of a "highly centralised, top-down government that lacks responsiveness and accountability to Afghans across the country". It added that, "at the same time, the role of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in conducting development activities (which should properly be carried out by national or local state institutions and their civil society partners) has, in general, contributed to the undermining of the state's role and perceptions of its legitimacy".[150] Gilles Dorronsoro stated that Washington's "gravest error" had been its lack of interest in shoring up the Afghan central government:

    Whatever the official word about fighting corruption, the international coalition is bypassing Kabul in favour of local strong-men, on whom it is growing more and more dependent for protection and logistics, especially in the south. Worse, the population rejects the militias, which are often brutal toward civilians, and do little to increase support for Karzai or the coalition.[151]

89. Mr Dorronsoro added that even inside the Afghan legal system, "the coalition is choosing its partners at a local level, skirting the political centre, and that NATO's Provincial Reconstruction Teams act with total independence from Kabul, which is often not even informed of their actions".[152] Matt Waldman argued that it is unsurprising that the Afghan government has failed to tackle corruption, given that the West has failed to challenge corruption and has "channelled millions of dollars to Afghan power-holders it deems politically expedient, regardless of their records. Many Afghan officials, including those suspected of corruption, continued to receive large sums of money from various international actors, including the US Central Intelligence Agency."[153] He continues:

    Graft has been compounded by the allocation of vast reconstruction funds to Afghan and Western contracting companies that are wasteful or ineffective, with limited oversight. These factors have led to a conspicuous and increasing inequality between a rich elite and impoverished population.[154]

Transparency International lists Afghanistan as the second most corrupt country in the world. However, written evidence from the British Aid Agencies Group (BAAG) argues that "given that every year billions of dollars are directly spent by donor and troop contributing countries through contracts with private (international and national) security and construction companies totally bypassing the Afghan government systems, the international community is also to blame for the rampant corruption that exists in the country".[155]

The British contribution

90. The UK Government's strategy for Afghanistan has long acknowledged the importance of helping the Afghan state to extend its control and improve its effectiveness. Giving evidence to the Defence Committee recently, the Secretary of State for Defence stated that "the Afghans have an unequalled tradition of fighting spirit, as Britain discovered during its long historical engagement there, but a very limited history of competent and honest government".[156] Working via the FCO in some instances and the Department for International Development (DFID) in others, the UK Government has provided support[157] and funding (£175 million, 2010-14) to the Afghan government via the World Bank-managed, multi-donor Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF). This contributes to the salaries of civil servants, teachers, doctors and nurses, and to national priority programmes funded via the ARTF, in education, health, human rights, community investment and development, infrastructure, and governance. The Government's written evidence points out that continued support will help to increase the number of schools in Afghanistan from just under 11,000 to 16,500, and to increase youth literacy rates from 39% to 50%.[158] The Government also provides support aimed at improving economic policies, tax systems and access to finance and is working with the private sector to develop key markets.[159] There has also been a heavy investment in developing the rule of law and the UK is regarded as a key advocate of working with the Afghan grain as much as possible and using traditional styles of justice where appropriate.[160] The FCO's written evidence acknowledges that "strengthening the rule of law across Afghanistan is a long-term endeavour. It will require significant financial and human resources for many years to come."[161]

91. In Helmand, where much of the British effort is focused, the Government is keen to show progress is being made and states that the number of district governors "installed" has doubled from five to 10 in the past two years, and that there are 26 Afghan Ministries now represented in Lashkar Gah.[162] Giving oral evidence to us, the Foreign Secretary argued that in "very difficult areas of the country such as Helmand", the fact that state institutions are "there at all" amounted to a measure of success. He added that it was "vital that Afghans are able to have confidence that the government are not corrupt, that they work in the interests of the people", but acknowledged that "there is much more to do there", particularly in relation to corruption.

92. During our visit we heard about a range of projects supported by the UK Government which are having a tangible effect on the everyday lives of Afghans. These include support for micro-finance initiatives which have allowed Afghans, including a high proportion of women, to set up in business and its attempts, through the PRT in Helmand, to support justice through community-based dispute resolution mechanisms such as the Justice Sub-Committees of District Community Councils and the Prisoner Review Shuras in those districts without prosecutors. The Government told us this helps increase access to the statutory system and promotes respect for rights and constraining abuse in both sectors. In addition the UK is building, equipping and providing training for Lashkar Gah prison which will conform to international standards. It also run projects for women and juveniles in prison and has plans to implement a vocational training programme.

93. However, Oxfam GB's written evidence expressed concern that "the FCO and others are increasingly prioritising funding for short-term security activities, using Conflict Pool funds in Helmand at the expense of longer-term conflict prevention projects which the funds are intended for." They state that while there is evidence to suggest that "tackling fundamental issues such as poverty and injustice can contribute to improved security and stability in the long term, there is scant evidence to support the notion that using aid for short-term counter-insurgency objectives, force protection, or to win hearts and minds is actually effective".[163] A similar point was raised by Matt Waldman in his written evidence.[164] Oxfam adds that "aid used this way tends to be spent inefficiently and fails to bring real benefits to recipient communities. This short term, politicised focus also means that less UK aid money is being spent on programmes that meet Afghan needs and in ways that can sustainably alleviate poverty and address the underlying causes of chronic crises."[165] We asked the FCO to respond to these claims and were told that it did "not know what Oxfam are referring to". It added:

    The FCO, through its contribution to the Conflict Pool uses funds to help counter the insurgency and reduce and ultimately prevent conflict in Helmand. Providing the people of Helmand Province with security from intimidation and violence is an absolutely critical element of counter-insurgency and long term conflict prevention. The Conflict Pool fund has increased funding for long-term security in Helmand from approximately £6 million spend in 2008-09 to approximately £12 million scheduled spend in the current financial year. Over the same period expenditure on short term security activities in Helmand has decreased steadily, from approximately £2 million in 2008-09 to approximately £600,000 committed spend this financial year. Long term security projects funded by the Conflict Pool in Helmand include training the Afghan police in detective and community policing techniques, upgrading police checkpoints, building prison accommodation in Lashkar Gah that meets international standards, and the Helmand Police Training Centre.[166]

94. At a national level, the UK Government's current approach, like that of its international partners, is to encourage 'Afghanisation', by accelerating the speed at which power and decision-making is transferred to the Afghan government. To this end, and as recommended in the communiqué of the January 2010 London Conference, it is progressively to align development assistance behind national priority programmes, as well as channelling at least 50% of assistance, through the Afghan government's core budget by the end of two years. The Afghan government has been working on a "cluster" system which draws together working groups of Ministries, to finalise priority programmes. The Foreign Secretary told us that in terms of progress "some of the commitments entered into at the time of the Kabul conference in July [2010] are being met".[167] However, other witnesses, such as Jolyon Leslie, were more sceptical as to whether the intense system of international conferences, compacts and benchmarks were appropriate for the current Afghan situation, stating that "people sometimes feel that they are being frogmarched into a process that will unravel inevitably if it is not on their terms".[168] BAAG stated: "there is a growing scepticism among many people in Afghanistan of the value of such conferences, which seem to make little difference to their lives, or adequately recognise the challenges that that they face".[169] Oxfam GB warned that the programmes seemingly failed to acknowledge the mistakes of the past, and stated that the process "is already faltering", while Jolyon Leslie told us:

    My worry is that we are beginning to believe our own assumptions. It is going round and round and becoming a self-fulfilling delusion. I don't mean this in a particularly negative sense, but someone needs to have the courage of their convictions and say, "Stop, let's put a spotlight on some of these goals, on the benchmarks that we have set in the London conference and on the other milestones", and ask whether we are doing well enough. We need to have a radical re-look at how to get out of it. Because it's becoming a hole—it is very difficult to back out of.[170]

95. Gerard Russell stated that:

    The array of international interlocutors that engage with President Karzai—Ambassadors of the five or six most important troop contributors, especially of course the US Ambassador; the military and civilian chiefs of NATO in Afghanistan; the UN and EU special representatives, the special representatives of 15 nations, and apparently the head of the Central Intelligence Agency—can [...] cause confusion. When those individuals fail to deliver the same message to President Karzai, not only is the message itself undermined but so is the credibility of the international community.[171]

96. Oxfam also stated that although the amount of information that the British Government had submitted to the Afghan Ministry of Finance on its disbursements had been more than that of most other donors, comprehensive data on where and how funds are spent, are yet to be published. It added, "given rising concerns about corruption, timely and accessible information will go a long way towards reassuring the public in the UK and Afghanistan that British funds are spent appropriately".[172]

97. We conclude that despite 10 years of international assistance designed to bolster the Afghan state, the international community has not succeeded in materially extending the reach and influence of the central Afghan government or in improving governance more generally. We further conclude that the current international approach has yet to fully reflect Afghanistan's history, regional differences and realities on the ground, and is in danger of failing despite the vast sums of money expended. We believe that it is only right and proper that responsibility for Afghan affairs rests primarily with the Afghans themselves, and this should and will eventually reflect the complex and diverse nature of Afghan society.

104   See for example, Declaration by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on an Enduring Partnership signed at the NATO Summit in Lisbon, Portugal. Back

105   NTM-A currently has around 1,300 international trainers, but is set to expand to over 2,500 trainers by March 2012. Back

106   Ev 6 Back

107   EUPOL, the EU's police training mission, provides strategic advice and mentoring for senior officials in the Ministry of the Interior and ANP, as well as providing training in specialised areas such as criminal investigation and forensics. EUPOL also works to strengthen wider rule of law institutions such as the Attorney General's Office. Back

108   Ev 7 Back

109   Ev 7-8 Back

110   Ev 7 Back

111   Q 364, Q 366 Back

112   Foreign Affairs Committee, Global Security: Afghanistan and Pakistan, paras 66-79 and Response of the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, October 2009, Cm 7702, p 3 Back

113   Ev 35 Back

114   Q 152 Back

115   As at 28 December 2010 Back

116   As at 12 January 2011 Back

117   Oral evidence taken before the Defence Committee, 17 November 2010, HC (2010-11) 554-iv, Q 290. Back

118   Q 152 Back

119   Q 91  Back

120   Oral evidence taken before the Defence Committee, 17 November 2010, HC (2010-11) 554-iv, Q 238. Back

121   Q 121 Back

122   Q 136 Back

123   Reuters, 3 February 2011 Back

124   Ev 7 Back

125   Ev 7 Back

126   See for example written evidence from The Post-War Reconstruction Unit, Matt Waldman, James Fergusson, Oxfam GB. Back

127   Q 119  Back

128   Q 121 Back

129   OMLTs provide training and mentoring to the ANA. They also serve as a liaison capability between ANA and ISAF forces, co-ordinating the planning of operations and ensuring that the ANA units receive necessary enabling support (including close air support, casualty evacuation and medical evacuation). Back

130   Ev 84 Back

131   Ev 7 Back

132   Department of Defense Bloggers Roundtable with Army Colonel John Ferrari, Deputy Commander for Programs, NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A), 16 December 2010 Back

133   Ev 57. See also Q 117 [Gerard Russell]. Back

134   The Independent, 18 December 2010 Back

135   "Afghanistan in 2010: A Survey of the Afghan People", Asia Foundation, 9 November 2010  Back

136   New York Times, 17 December 2010 Back

137   Report on Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan, US Department of Defense, April 2010 Back

138   Q 49 Back

139   Ev 57 Back

140   "Progress in Afghanistan, with caveats", David Ignatius, The Washington Post, 17 December 2010 Back

141   Ev w8 Back

142   Q 101 Back

143   Q 52; see also Ev w23. Back

144   Ahmed Rashid, "The Way out of Afghanistan", The New York Review of Books, 13 January 2011 Back

145   Ev 57 Back

146   Ev 23 Back

147   "Let's un-surge in Afghanistan", The Wall Street Journal Online, 20 December 2010 Back

148   Q 102 Back

149   Q 106 Back

150   Q w13 Back

151   "A London fog on Afghanistan",, 5 February 2010  Back

152   IbidBack

153   Ev 52 Back

154   Ev 52 Back

155   Ev w11 Back

156   Uncorrected transcript of oral evidence taken before the Defence Committee on 15 December 2010, HC (2010-11), 554-v, Q 309 Back

157   Detailed fully in the FCO's written evidence. See Ev 13 et seq. Back

158   Ev 13 Back

159   Ev 12 Back

160   Ev 12-14 Back

161   Ev 14 Back

162   Ev 154 Back

163   Ev w14 Back

164   Ev 53 Back

165   Ev w15 Back

166   Ev 86 Back

167   Q 153 Back

168   Q 29  Back

169   Ev w18 Back

170   Q 54 Back

171   Ev 56 Back

172   Ev w20 Back

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