Security Transition in Afghanistan
September 24, 2014
Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan’s other allies face during 2014-2015 and beyond.
The five other key challenges include:
• Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and
• Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from
the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and
making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution.
• Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in
Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self-financed economy, developing renewal world
economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo
Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business.
• Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside
pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan’s border.
• Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to
furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
Nevertheless, Afghanistan cannot succeed unless the ANSF meets the wide range of security challenges which are the subject of this briefing. Many of these challenges are ones that all governments face in shaping an effective security response to major extremist and insurgent threats. Others are unique to Afghanistan. It should be clear from this list and the briefing that follows that the ANSF faces problems that make a successful Transition a high risk effort even if the ANSF is the only factor considered in supporting an effective Transition. This risk is highlighted in
much of the data that follow, and in virtually all of the narratives describing the current
state of the ANSF.
At the same time, the briefing shows that there are positive as well as negative trends. The ANSF may be able to succeed if it receive suitable outside support, and particularly if it has a substantial advisory and enable presence from the US, if other key ISAF states like Germany and Italy provide a presence in in key areas, and if the donors provide the funds necessary for the ANSF to develop, operate, and mature.