Afghan Security Forces to Be Reduced after 2014

Apr 11, 2012   //   by Hameed   //   military, Peace, Poverty  //  1 Comment

Afghan Defense Min­is­ter, Gen. Abdul Rahim War­dak said on Tues­day that the Afghan secu­ri­ty forces (ANSF) will like­ly be reduced from its peak strength of 352000 to 230000 after the NATO with­draw­al from Afghanistan in 2014. This will be a sig­nif­i­cant reduc­tion in the Afghan Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Forces. Now, some might argue that these 122000 per­son­nel will be unem­ployed. No, they will not. The ques­tion is who will con­tin­ue employ­ing them beyond 2014? The Tal­iban is long­ing for an oppor­tu­ni­ty like that. These ANSF per­son­nel will have the skills to fight in a time when they’ll be furi­ous at the Afghan gov­ern­ment for tak­ing away their jobs and career. What is the solu­tion then? “If some­thing is unsus­tain­able, either you have to find the resources to sus­tain it or you have to reduce the size of the project.” Quotes a New York Times arti­cle from a senior west­ern offi­cial in Kab­ul. Soon­er or lat­er, the inter­na­tion­al dona­tions will inevitably taper off and dry even­tu­al­ly. It’s extreme­ly impor­tant for Afghanistan to bring about big changes, and I mean big, to pre­pare for 2014 and beyond and more impor­tant­ly to avoid a poten­tial civ­il war in the coun­try- now is a good time to start this since the inter­na­tion­al coali­tion forces will be there to inter­vene if any­thing goes wrong in the process of bring­ing these changes. Depend­ing on how large of an Afghan secu­ri­ty forces the inter­na­tion­al alliance agrees to con­tin­ue sup­port­ing in Chica­go Sum­mit next month, Afghanistan will have to make some seri­ous deci­sions. Just a few thoughts on this: First of all, Pres­i­dent Karzi should get rid of all those gang­sters in the min­istries of inte­ri­or, defense and com­merce along with oth­ers. It will be a chal­leng­ing task for the pres­i­dent but there’s no way he can move for­ward. It’s like run­ning hard but stand­ing still with­out mak­ing any progress with these cor­rupt offi­cials’ involve­ment in his gov­ern­ment. Karzai wants to keep every­one hap­py by giv­ing them what they want but that’s how it works. The pres­i­dent will have built trust between his gov­ern­ment and the pub­lic by doing so. Now, that the num­ber of ANSF has not reached 352000 yet, we should stop increas­ing it. Instead of wast­ing that mon­ey on train­ing, equip­ping and giv­ing salaries to them that can­not be sus­tained beyond 2014, the mon­ey can be used more wise­ly by invest­ing in the Nation­al Direc­torate of Secu­ri­ty (NDS) or the Afghan intel­li­gence agency and the exist­ing ANSF per­son­nel. They should work on the qual­i­ty rather than quan­ti­ty. A stronger and high­er num­ber of NDS means less insur­gent activ­i­ties and with the help and coor­di­na­tion of our cur­rent well-trained ANSF there will be bet­ter secu­ri­ty. And as a final point, I think it’ll be wise for the Afghan gov­ern­ment to focus on devel­op­ing strate­gies for eco­nom­ic growth and inde­pen­dence and cre­ate more jobs for peo­ple includ­ing bridg­ing any unem­ploy­ment gaps that the ANSF may have under­gone. Pri­vate local busi­ness­es should be strong­ly encour­aged so that it cre­ates more jobs and it gen­er­ates and spends mon­ey local­ly. Improv­ing pri­vate busi­ness­es is a good way of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment and it’s dwarfed by the inter­na­tion­al dona­tions in the long term. To con­clude, by remov­ing druglo­rds and cor­rupt offi­cials from the gov­ern­ment, train­ing the cur­rent ANSF and invest­ing more on NDS and focus­ing on pri­vate busi­ness devel­op­ment and eco­nom­ic growth I think we will sur­vive and the Cen­tral Asia does­n’t have to be afraid.