Reforming ANSF Metrics
June 9, 2010
The development of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is one of the most critical aspects of the war. NATO/ISAF simply cannot bring this war to a successful conclusion without transitioning responsibility for security to the Afghans. This, however, requires valid measures of the progress that ISAF and the US are making in dealing with each element of the Afghan armed forces and police, not only in the formal training process but in actual operations.
So far, however, measuring the development of the ANSF has proven to be problematic, and much of the past reporting has sharply exaggerated the level of progress. The NATO/ISAF system for measuring ANSF progress has ignored many of the key issues in force development, and has exaggerated ANSF capabilities while ignoring key problems in the training and partnering process.
This memorandum lays out a new system for measuring the capabilities of the ANSF. Six factors form the heart of this new system: Narrative; Loyalty and Networks of Influence; Motivation/Morale; Sustainability; Unit History; and Partnering. It illustrates ways in which ISAF could improve its current analysis and reporting on the ANSF, and prepare for an effective transition of responsibility to the ANSF in the future. This new metrics system will provide an accurate representation of ANA capabilities not just today, but in the crucial years to come.
The memorandum, entitled REFORMING REPORTING ON ANSF READINESS, can be downloaded here: http://csis.org/files/publication/100609_ANSF.reporting.reform.pdf