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Leveraging Observations of Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan for Global Operations

Leveraging Observations of Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan for Global Operations

Leslie Adrienne Payne
Jan Osburg
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 52
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  • Book Info
    Leveraging Observations of Security Force Assistance in Afghanistan for Global Operations
    Book Description:

    Interviews with Security Force Assistance (SFA) practitioners in Afghanistan reveal insights that can be applied to future global operations. The enduring nature of most challenges that these practitioners face suggests that solutions still remain uncertain. Future SFA missions, such as those envisioned for the U.S. Army’s Regionally Aligned Forces, can benefit from the experience gained from SFA in Afghanistan as captured in this report.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-8363-0
    Subjects: Technology, Political Science, History

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Executive Summary
    (pp. v-vi)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  6. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xiii-xiv)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  9. Chapter One. Introduction
    (pp. 1-4)

    The protracted military campaign in Afghanistan nears the end of its trajectory. Efforts have shifted from combat-centric operations, in which Coalition Forces (CF) played a visible and prominent role, to Advise and Assist operations meant to empower and professionalize the host nation’s security forces. Security Force Assistance (SFA) is currently the main effort in Afghanistan and will likely play a significant role in U.S. defense policy beyond the Afghan theater. Retaining, collating, and analyzing current SFA efforts will help future Advise and Assist operations reduce the risk of repeating mistakes and improving the chance of success of future efforts across...

  10. Chapter Two. The Security Force Assistance Process
    (pp. 5-10)

    To provide greater context to the study findings, this chapter describes the SFA process using three conceptual frameworks. First, we present an idealized depiction of SFA operations based on a subsequent study of information found in Chapter Four of Field Manual (FM) 3-22, which discusses SFA tasks and mission objectives.³ The second framework is based on the current state of affairs and drawn from the interviews conducted for this research. The third is a “best-case” scenario of how SFA should look, according to the testimony provided by the participants in this study. The second and third frameworks especially work to...

  11. Chapter Three. Identifying and Leveraging Key Security Force Assistance Insights
    (pp. 11-28)

    This chapter presents and assesses key insights from the SFA subject-matter experts (SMEs) throughout Afghanistan’s RC-E who were interviewed for this research. Statements are grouped thematically and ordered in such a way that reflects on the frequency by which they were mentioned. A set of representative quotes from SFA practitioners introduces each theme; we then examine these through an analytical lens that provides background information on how insights were identified by advisors in the field. Each section closes by offering suggestions as to how interviewees’ insights may be leveraged in future SFA operations.

    Hire the right people for the job,...

  12. Chapter Four. Sustainability of Security Force Assistance Results: The Development Paradox and Host-Nation Autonomy
    (pp. 29-30)

    Canvassing the vast network of current SFA advisors and collecting their insights is relatively easy. The harder task is determining which of those lessons learned are actually implementable and sustainable for SFA operations in the future. In this chapter, we therefore explore interviewees’ observations pertaining to how SFA operational challenges may be better met in the future. Several interviewees spoke of the importance of understanding not only the challenges and successes faced by past SFA endeavors but those faced by the HNs themselves. We address these concerns through the lens of the Development Paradox, a concept rooted in economic development...

  13. Chapter Five. Conclusion
    (pp. 31-34)

    In order to inform the policy and doctrine discussion on SFA, this study endeavored to capture the insights of experienced SFA practitioners in the field. We realize that much research has been done in this area already, but the thoughts of SFA advisors currently working in Afghanistan provides an additional set of data points to ongoing policy and doctrine development. The interview responses presented in this document illustrate that, despite the decade-plus of research and discussions on this topic, solutions to long-standing SFA challenges still need to be sought.

    Discussion of the Development Paradox in Chapter Four highlights a range...

  14. References
    (pp. 35-36)