No doubt, a successful police development program is one of the keys to the Government of Afghanistan assuming the security lead by the end of 2014. But to say the U.S. is not serious about the Afghan National Police (ANP) as a viable force to assume the security responsibilities is not accurate. The ANP training mission transition from DoS to DoD was conducted between Dec 30, 2010 and Apr 29, 2011. The training mission had two elements, 1) training and mentoring; and 2) base support for 15 training sites. On contract transfer, 300 of 728 Dyncorp positions were filled, a manning rate of 41 percent.
The Nato Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) headquartered at Camp Eggers in Kabul extended the current DoS contractor fill for 90 positions. NTM-A assumed risk in other areas and retasked personnel along with requesting NATO support to fill 148 positions. The endstate and contract transfer from DoS to DoD was 540 of 728 positions filled, a 74 percent manning rate. At no time was training of the police cancelled. In fact, on page 15 of the report it states that "no training classes were cancelled." So, where are we today police training? Currently, 633 of 673 trainer/mentor positions are filled, a 94 percent manning rate. Additionally, on May 26, 2011, NTM-A issued a letter of concern to the contract due to the contractor's inability to meet manning requirements. On June 1, 2011 the contractor agreed to reduce the transition period award fee by $326,000; reducing from $601,000 to $275,000, a reduction of 54%. NTM-A is committed to ensuring that Afghanistan's security institutions, and not just the Police, but the Army and Air Force as well, are self-sufficient, self-sustaining, and enduring. Significant investment, by the American taxpayer, has been made to consciously provide the Afghan National Security Force (ANSF) with capable, affordable and sustainable weapons, vehicles, equipment, and infrastructure. This investment must first, meet the requirement to defeat the current threat and protect the people of Afghanistan; it must be affordable and provide the best value over time; it must be sustainable and durable to withstand the harsh Afghan environment; and it must able to be maintained without international assistance.
Developing the ANSF to endure will continue to be the goal, but it will require patience and commitment on the part of the international community. The return on the investment is a capable and professional ANSF that endures long after the coalition combat forces have departed Afghanistan. So, are we getting it right? In some areas the ANP has made incredible progress, in other areas, challenges still exist. But to look back from where we started and where we are today, I am confident when I say that the ANP is on track to meet its 157,000 police force mark by November 2012.