Guide The Long March: Building an Afghan National Army

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Weapons, in particular, are one of the ways SIGAR has been able to track the impact of ghost soldiers: The ghost soldier phenomenon can also be seen on smaller scales in provinces throughout the country. In , the Helmand police chief, Aqa Noor Kintoz, reported he believes that half of his force are ghosts. Illiteracy is a major cause of disconnect between Afghan troops and American trainers. Not only can most of the Afghan recruits not read and write, but a majority of them have also led lives devoid of the technology used to train Western soldiers, a learning curve that DoD planners failed to anticipate.

Nobody Knows How Many Afghan Security Forces Really Exist, And The US Can’t Fix It

Such cut-and-paste activities, lifted from one country and slapped onto another like a decal, are not likely to boost the prospects for overall success. And although Sopko said that time and continued support from U. For guidance about compiling full citations consult Citing Primary Sources. Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate. Skip to main content. About this Item Title The long march: This monograph assesses the ANA's progress in the areas of recruitment, training, facilities, and operational capability.

It draws on a variety of sources: Afghanistan also needs to develop the capacity of young officers and soldiers to replace the older generation in the defence and security forces. Moreover, it is time to professionalise the police and draw greater distinctions between the duties of law enforcement and the military. There is no exact figure for the costs incurred by the international coalition during the war. And the human cost has been high: Yet, NATO and the wider international community have renewed their commitments to support Afghanistan for another decade.

Wider cooperation with the Alliance is also being taken forward through its Enduring Partnership programme with Afghanistan. The United States and Afghanistan have also agreed a long-term partnership framework and a bilateral security agreement.


Reconciliation and a peace deal are the best options to end the war but — until a settlement is reached — the deteriorating security situation and the growing terrorist threats require the continued engagement of NATO Allies and partners in Afghanistan. As a landlocked country neighboring China, Pakistan, Iran and Central Asian countries, Afghanistan has significant geostrategic and geopolitical importance.

The Khyber Pass, located between Afghanistan and Pakistan, has long been one of the most important trade routes and strategic military locations in the world.

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Moreover, the Silk Road passes through Afghanistan. This ancient network of trade routes, miles long, is known as the cultural crossroads of the Indian, Persian and Chinese civilisations. Insecurity and instability in Afghanistan would destabilise the region and provide fertile ground for terrorist groups, posing a threat to Allies and partners. Afghanistan also faces immense economic and development challenges.

Reporter: A long march to progress in Afghanistan

The country is rich in natural resources, gas, minerals and oil worth more than a trillion US dollars according to some estimates. But insecurity and war has limited opportunities to explore and extract these resources, and Afghanistan remains among the poorest countries of the world. Combined with insecurity, lack of economic opportunities are driving many Afghans to flee the country. According to the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than a quarter of the one million refugees and migrants who arrived in Europe in were Afghans coming second after Syrians.

Helping Afghanistan establish peace and to grow its economy could help stem the flow of refugees, which represents a brain drain for Afghanistan and also risks destabilizing the European Union.

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An Afghan migrant holds his son after arriving at a port on the Greek island of Lesbos, after having been rescued at sea by the Greek Coast Guard in March So, it is well worth sustaining investment in the development of Afghanistan as well as its security forces. The year is just around the corner. It is in the interest of both the Allies and Afghan people.