Reforming ANSF Metrics
August 11, 2010
The new Commanders Unit Assessment Tool (CUAT) for measuring the capabilities of the ANSF represents a significant improvement over the old Capability Milestone (CM) system. The old system was too rigid, too narrowly quantitative, and measured only a handful of relatively unimportant metrics. It overstated ANSF capabilities, yet it was often used uncritically as an indicator for ANSF progress by policymakers and analysts alike.
The new CUAT system is far more flexible, incorporates better metrics, and is much more narrative-based. While clearly an improvement, the CUAT does not correct many of the fundamental problems of the old CM system, and its very flexibility may create some new problems. The CUAT system was instituted earlier this year, and no doubt assessors in the field, NTM-A, IJC and the IDC are still tailoring it and working out the kinks. This memo represents a first impression of its strengths and weaknesses, and suggests several areas for improvement. The full memo can be downloaded here: http://csis.org/files/publication/100811_ANSF.CUAT.reform.pdf