Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan

Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan: Identifying Lessons for Future Efforts

Terrence K. Kelly
Nora Bensahel
Olga Oliker
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 160
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg1066a
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  • Book Info
    Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan
    Book Description:

    Security force assistance (SFA) is a central pillar of the counterinsurgency campaign being waged by U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan. This monograph analyzes SFA efforts in Afghanistan over time, documents U.S. and international approaches to building the Afghan force from 2001 to 2009, and provides observations and recommendations that emerged from extensive fieldwork in Afghanistan in 2009 and their implications for the U.S. Army.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-5224-7
    Subjects: Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxiii-xxiv)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxv-xxviii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-16)

    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 Security Forces (ANSF), which includes the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP), as well as some smaller security forces, and the extent to which the armed elements of tribes, sub-tribes, and clans can be brought under government control. This chapter starts with a brief overview of the security, political, and socioeconomic context in Afghanistan and...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Overview of Security Force Assistance During the Coalition Era, 2001–2009
    (pp. 17-66)

    After the fall of the Taliban in 2001, the United States and its coalition partners started what turned out to be an extensive effort to rebuild the Afghan National Army and Afghan National Police. The initial plans were developed during a time of relative peace and called for relatively small but well-trained army and police forces. As the security situation deteriorated, however, the United States focused primarily on increasing the sizes of these two forces rather than fundamentally questioning whether the structures and approaches of the initial efforts were still appropriate for the changing security environment. Although reform efforts have...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Observations About Recent SFA Efforts in Afghanistan
    (pp. 67-88)

    This chapter identifies three major lessons from the SFA efforts described in Chapter Two that are likely to affect the success or failure of the overall effort.¹ First, we discuss the scope and context of SFA in Afghanistan. Second, we consider assistance to the security ministries and the generating force, and their influence on the operating forces themselves—which they exist to create and maintain. Third, we assess the effects of SFA delivered through advisors and partners of the operating forces. In Chapter Four, we discuss the issue of SFA assessments and how they must be part of the design...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR A Framework for SFA and Assessing SFA During Conflict
    (pp. 89-104)

    The discussion in Chapter Three sets the stage for a more detailed look at what a framework for security force assistance—and assessing SFA—might look like in Afghanistan or other countries undergoing conflict. We begin by considering SFA during peacetime, with the goal of determining what types of feedback developing security institutions need to perform their tasks under less stressful conditions. After that, we look at how assessments of the ANSF were conducted in 2009 and provide some thoughts on assessments during conflict in general. We then use this information to derive the characteristics needed in an effective SFA...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Implications of SFA in Afghanistan for the U.S. Army
    (pp. 105-118)

    In this chapter, we examine what U.S. doctrine tells us about security force assistance and how to assess it. We then apply the insights from the previous chapters to help understand the implications for the U.S. Army as it tries to develop its abilities to conduct and assess SFA. We acknowledge that lessons from Afghanistan will not be universally applicable and observe that security sector reform (SSR) and SFA overlap to a much larger degree in Afghanistan than in some other places. In countries with a functioning security sector, SFA may contribute to SSR, but both SFA and SSR will...

  14. APPENDIX A Selected Literature and Documents Reviewed
    (pp. 119-120)
  15. APPENDIX B Selected Interviews
    (pp. 121-124)
  16. References
    (pp. 125-132)