The War in Afghanistan
December 2, 2010
Recent reporting by the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A) and the Department of Defense provides added insight into how the course of the fighting tracks with the development of Afghan security forces. This is one of the most critical tests of the new strategy and a brief summary of these metrics -- The War in Afghanistan: Key Trends in the Fighting and ANSF Development in the November 2010 1230 Report and Year-End NTM-A Reporting -- is now available on the CSIS web site at: http://csis.org/files/publication/101202_AfghanNov2010Dod1230.pdf.
The metrics in this analysis are not a substitute for reading the detailed Department of Defense reporting on Afghan force development available in the publications section of DoD's web site at defenselink.gov, or the new NTM-A report, "Year in Review, November 2009 to November 2010." They also do not reflect some serious problems in the NATO training effort, Afghan force development, and rating Afghan readiness and capabilities discussed in three other CSIS reports:
Afghan National Security Forces: What it will take to impliment the ISAF strategy
The War in Afghanistan: Key Trends in the Fighting and ANSF Development in the DoD 1230 Report
"Reforming ANSF Metrics"
They do show, however, that there is now a far more credible prospect that Afghan forces will be ready for transition in 2014, and capable of largely assuming responsibility for security operations. The one critical caveat is that these efforts must continue to be properly funded, and that NATO has not yet obtained anything like the quantity and quality of trainers and partners it needs to win. These metrics make it clear that this is a the highest single priority for added military contributions from NATO countries, and that current assets meet less that 40% of the requirement needed by mid-2011.