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- Military & Police Forces

Afghan PoliceEstablishing security as well as a functioning judiciary is the centerpiece of international efforts in Afghanistan. The creation of a stable Afghan state requires well trained and equipped military and police forces. However, it is still questionable how long foreign troops will have to remain in Afghanistan. Transatlantic involvement in Afghanistan is inevitable, until Afghanistan is capable of meeting its own security needs.

(Photo: army.mil, cc license)

December 3, 2012 | Failures of Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Afghanistan

Ahmad Rashid Jamal: This research analyzes the role of Police and Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan from 2001 to 2012. It intends to answer two questions: How do international and local actors contribute to the success or failure of the Security Sector and Police Reform? How do actors, leadership, and policies within a synchronized mission fail to build professional police? …More

July 6, 2012 | Routes and Access are Just the Start

The politics of routes and access in the Pak-Afghan region has muddled US-Pakistan relations. ++ Following a 2011 NATO attack in Pakistan, Islamabad closed roads to the Afghan border. ++ Consequently, the US had been relying on a longer …More

May 26, 2010 | Bundeswehr: Fighting Cuts, Fearing Blood

The Bundeswehr is appealing to the Chancellor to reconsider proposed massive budget cuts. The proposed reductions are certain to undercut the military’s ability to conduct operations abroad properly. ++ Less resources in the …More

May 17, 2010 | Nation Building is a Luxury in Afghanistan

Funnelling money for infrastructure is a luxury that the necessarily long-term US military presence in Afghanistan cannot afford. ++ “Our objective is not to remake Afghanistan. That is the Afghans’ job.” ++ Moreover, …More

May 14, 2010 | China Flexes Its Maritime Muscles

China is looking to replace the U.S. as the hegemonic maritime power in Asia, which places additional stress on its relationship with Japan. ++ Secrecy surrounding the Chinese build-up could conceivably “spark an arms race” in the …More

April 29, 2010 | Russia Fleet Pact Strands the Ukraine

The new deal on the Black Sea Fleet secures Russian dominance at the expense of other countries.++ “Kiev loses because the Black Sea Fleet and its accompanying socio-political-economic-cultural infrastructure enables Russia to keep the …More

April 27, 2010 | The Future of Peace Operations

Anders Fogh Rasmussen: A comprehensive approach is needed in Afghanistan and other areas of conflict. NATO and the EU, which work separately for political reasons, need to coordinate their efforts and share resources and information. NGOs should also collaborate with military forces. …More

April 23, 2010 | War in Afghanistan, Rift in the Bundestag

The politics of partisanship have emerged in German parliament over the war in Afghanistan.++ Recent political scandals, such as the death of civilians in the Kunduz affair, have turned the electorate overwhelmingly against the …More

April 15, 2010 | Pakistani Celebrations Give Militants Easy Targets

Over 100 civilians were killed during last week’s celebrations of the Awami National Party’s renaming of the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. ++ While the renaming was touted as an ideological victory for the majority Pakhtun …More

March 3, 2010 | US-Europe: the Winning Losers' Partnership

The anti-Europe discourse is fashionable again these days in American tribunes. ++ “Pacifist Europe” progressively withdrawing its commitment from NATO’s engagement in Afghanistan fuels scepticism towards the everlasting European …More

February 25, 2010 | Denmark Shows How to Get Support for Afghanistan

While European support to NATO’s strategy in Afghanistan is progressively being undermined, Denmark stands out by maintaining a supportive public opinion in spite of heavy casualties. ++ The Danish government unveils the …More

February 17, 2010 | Two Steps Back For the Taliban

Officials have confirmed the capture of the Taliban’s deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. ++ “It may indicate a shift in co-operation between American and Pakistani intelligence services, reflecting a change in policy by the government in …More

January 21, 2010 | Recasting the Bundeswehr

General Stanley McChrystal is set to announce a new strategy for Afghanistan at the Munich Security Conference in February; and in the process, he will shake up the Bundeswehr’s operations within ISAF. ++ The Commander of all international …More

January 18, 2010 | Support for Foreign Troops is Up This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: Though there have already been 15 NATO casualties in January 2010, the outlook on the ground is improving. According to a recent poll conducted by BBC and its affiliates throughout Afghanistan, support for foreign troops is on the rise; and the number of Taliban supporters has drastically fallen. Is the ISAF mission moving in the right direction? …More

December 22, 2009 | The Battle for Public Opinion

Jerzy S Deren: ISAF consists of a huge number of actors constrained by limited political will, with unequal combat roles, making forces more vulnerable. A holistic approach is required to counter the unique challenges of the Afghan war. Furthermore, a successful conclusion to this complex process is the only way to prove NATO’s credibility to an increasingly skeptical public. …More

December 21, 2009 | A New Dimension to the ISAF Mission This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: In order to meet the ambitious growth targets for 2010, NATO has launched a new mission to put the training of all security and police forces under one roof. …More

December 17, 2009 | The Consequences of 'Victory' This Article contains Flash-Video

Bernhard Lucke: With no political solution for Afghanistan in reach, NATO is heading towards disaster. The frequent speeches of exhortation rarely consider the risks of the military escalation and the failure of the political process. It is time to re-evaluate the war. …More

December 2, 2009 | And 30,000 it is This Article contains Flash-Video

Thomas Rausch: President Obama’s West Point speech heralds the next transatlantic rift. The American president is in a tight spot: he needs his transatlantic allies to support this new strategic endeavor. All the while, the German government must decide if it will go along with the plan or develop its own way forward to do right by Afghanistan. …More

December 2, 2009 | Bite the Hand that Bleeds

The planned surge of American troops will have tragic consequences for the people of Afghanistan. ++ After eight years of war, the situation on the ground is dismal for the poor, and especially for women. ++ The people are “squashed between two …More

November 27, 2009 | "Quitting Afghanistan"

As in Iraq, there is no victory to be found in Afghanistan. ++ Only when foreign troops leave will the conflict come to an end. ++ Whether there will be an increase in troops or not, the question still remains: will the new Afghanistan strategy look …More

November 17, 2009 | Obama and Karzai: Endlessly Entwined

Obama and Karzai may be “hopelessly at odds” but they are “condemned to the mutual pursuit of success in Afghanistan.” ++ US policy now depends on how well Karzai can stabilize his country and not only on military …More

October 21, 2009 | Afghanistan is not Vietnam and the US is not the USSR

Abbas Daiyar: Comparisons between the Afghanistan conflict and the Vietnam war are completely unfounded as they have little in common. Obama has no choice but to agree to General McChrystal’s request of sending more troops into Afghanistan. …More

October 16, 2009 | "To Beat the Taliban, Fight From Afar"

The priority in Afghanistan should not be to send more soldiers, but to alter the image of the US and its allies as foreign occupiers. ++ Statistics show that increasing troops in Afghanistan, has in the past directly led to a rise …More

October 13, 2009 | More Troops Won't Solve Afghanistan

Although the security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated considerably, largely due to Hamid Karzai’s ineffective and corrupt government, injecting more troops could provoke an antigovernment or nationalist backlash. ++ Instead, “the …More

October 9, 2009 | Afghanistan: Decision Time Has Come for Obama

After only nine months in office, it is time for President Obama to make some tough decisions on ‘his war’ in Afghanistan. ++ His options are shifting the focus from Afghanistan to a targeted anti-terrorist campaign, or …More

October 7, 2009 | Extra Troops Needed in Afghanistan

General Stanley McChrystal, the US commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, should get the additional 40,000 troops he requires. ++ Although polls show that the American public has no interest in staying in Afghanistan, the costs of losing the …More

September 29, 2009 | Upgrading Support for Afghanistan

Marco Vicenzino: The deployment of international troops in Afghanistan must be transitional. Thus, the further strengthening of the Afghan National Army (ANA) has to be a crucial task for NATO. Amongst others, important issues are to increase the army’s manpower, to better train the security forces, and to modernize ANA’s weaponry. …More

September 25, 2009 | Road to Stability This Article contains Flash-Video

NATO: As the insurgency persists the message from NATO is clear: although lasting longer than anticipated, ISAF’s aims will be achieved and prove sustainable in the long term. …More

September 14, 2009 | Foreign Forces Must Stay in Afghanistan!

It is too early for US troops to leave Afghanistan. ++ Withdrawal now would make Afghanistan again a safe haven for terrorists. ++ Relying only on the growth of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is not enough to deal with the …More

July 22, 2009 | Afghanistan Is Not Iraq- Germany Must Stay!

German military deployment in Afghanistan is the only way to establish long-lasting stability in the region. ++ The international community is not at war with Afghanistan but supporting the fragile government. ++ “After 30 years of …More

July 17, 2009 | Anti-Terror War in Afghanistan Must End

The UK and other countries must pull out most of their forces from Afghanistan. ++ More troops will not lead to less military casualties. ++ Al-Quaeda does not need Afghanistan as a training ground, as it can count on affiliates in many …More

March 6, 2009 | France Don't Panic Your Voice Will Be Heard

The argument that France would lose its diplomatic freedom and image of independent power by re-integrating into the military structure of NATO is unfounded. ++ It would assure France a better defense of its national interests. ++ …More

February 10, 2009 | Invest In Locals, Not New Soldiers

The long-term solution to Afghanistan’s security does not lie in sending in new soldiers but in the Afghan army. ++ This army is basic but innovative; its greatest strength is the sense of national identity which governs it. ++ …More

February 9, 2009 | The Controversy of Humanitarian Intervention

Rudi Guraziu: Humanitarian Intervention (HI) is a topic which divides the international community. The two opposing camps in International Relations are the idealists vs. the restrictionists. The paper supports the idealist views, who argue that HI is justified even if the SC does not authorize the use of force. …More

February 6, 2009 | Welcome to the Quagmire, al Qaeda

No-one in their right mind would go up against the combined forces of Gen. Petraeus, Amb. Holbrooke, Defence Sec. Gates, Sec. of State Clinton and the Iraq-hardened US military. ++ But a US victory still needs coherence of military and …More

February 5, 2009 | Playing With Fire: Arming Tribal Militias Won't Work

Abbas Daiyar: The US’ latest program to arm tribal groups in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban is based on flawed comparisons with Iraq. Prominent ethnic and tribal tensions will only flourish, entrenching instability and increasing bloodshed. The US and NATO must understand these realities and rethink the plan. …More

January 5, 2009 | How To Take the Media Battle to the Taliban

Tim Foxley: Too little time, effort and analytical resources are dedicated to understanding what the Taliban are saying - and that a change in this approach could lead to a change in the war.

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December 22, 2008 | Afghanistan's Latest Security Challenge This Article contains Flash-Video

NATO Channel: Afghanistan’s symbolic Highway 1 is coming under increased attacks from insurgents placing explosives in bridges and culverts. These attempts to disrupt this important route for both commerce and the movement of people can only be countered through coordinated efforts from ISAF and the Afghan people. …More

December 16, 2008 | Obama Will Have to Reconsider Afghanistan Goals

The Taliban now control 72% of Afghanistan, up from 54% in 2007. ++ Many of the new US troops being sent will be placed around Kabul; Afghanistan cannot afford an army strong enough to control the whole country. ++ This leaves …More

December 4, 2008 | A Significant Milestone for Afghan Security This Article contains Flash-Video

NATO Channel: Two video reports give an insight into the encouraging development of Afghanistan’s security forces as the take-over from foreign forces begins to be consolidated. …More

November 25, 2008 | Too Much of a Good Thing is Disaster in Afghanistan

Terrorism is not the key strategic threat facing the US and Obama’s focus on Afghanistan is misguided. ++ NATO’s overemphasis in 2005 destroyed the stable situation of 2004 and the more focus Afghanistan gets now, …More

November 19, 2008 | Flight Paths out of Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been at war for almost 30 years. ++ The possibility of US exit strategies hovers on the horizon but winning the war would require carpet-bombing of southern Afghanistan. ++ Many Afghans hostile to the Taliban still support the …More

November 18, 2008 | "The Remaking of NATO"

One of Obama’s most trying tasks as president will be to redefine NATO, which lacks “a clear mission” and has “outlived its original purpose.” ++ The thorny issue of Ukrainian and Georgian accession will need to be …More

November 14, 2008 | Overwhelming Numbers: Security in Afghanistan

Obama’s proposed “mini-surge” in Afghanistan of some 15,00 troops will not provide enough personnel for the job. ++ Iraq, a smaller country than Afghanistan, required 700,000 soldiers and security forces; there are only 200,000 in …More

November 14, 2008 | Robert Gates: Coordination Needed in Afghanistan

Operations in Afghanistan are hamstrung by limitations placed on forces from different nations. ++ Many willing to provide troops lack money or have political constraints. ++ Soldiers are needed not only on the battlefield but …More

November 11, 2008 | Afghan Police and Economy: Lynchpins for Success

Memo 9: Afghanistan needs a continued international commitment to ensure its security and assist in economic and social development. The US, EU and Germany must focus on training local authorities. Cooperating with Iran and the Taliban remains a point of debate. …More

November 10, 2008 | What if President Obama Asks for German Combat Troops? This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Andrew Hammel: US calls for German troops in southern Afghanistan primarily have a “symbolic meaning,” says Andrew Hammel, who teaches Anglo-American Law at Heinrich Heine University and runs the popular blog “German Joys.” …More

October 31, 2008 | Afghanistan's Need for European Expertise

Morgan Sheeran: Europe can contribute to progress in Afghanistan outside of the military arena: mentoring Afghan ministry officials, instilling policies of good governance, and developing the Afghan economy could ultimately provide as much security as any troop contribution. …More

October 28, 2008 | Kickstarting a New Debate on Afghanistan

Florian Broschk: Extending the German ISAF mandate requires a broad public debate on the mission’s goals and strategies in Afghanistan. Germany must recognize the importance of counterinsurgency and improve a variety of its tactics - human intelligence, language training, and a greater troop presence. …More

October 23, 2008 | HOT ISSUE: How to Keep NATO Relevant?

From the Editorial Team: General John Craddock, the Supreme Allied Commander Europe for NATO, criticizes member states’ “wavering political will,” which prevents NATO from operating effectively. Is NATO an outdated body as many claim, or can it overcome political hesitations and remain a strong alliance? …More

October 22, 2008 | Restrained Reactions to Death of German Soldiers

More German soldiers were killed by a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan. ++ The German people’s reaction towards the extension of the German mandate, as well as on the killings, seems to be restrained. ++ Once more the …More

October 22, 2008 | Afghan Surge: More Police Trainers Essential

Morgan Sheeran: The Afghans have to secure their own country. The army has benefitted from Western training, but the police continues to lack active mentoring from ISAF. While a surge of combat troops in Afghanistan could be beneficial, what is needed the most are more police trainers and mentors. The police is the lynchpin of security for each village. …More

October 20, 2008 | Admission Long in Coming: Afghan War Can't be Won

Americans believed that imperialism could trump nationalism but the Afghans proved them wrong. ++ Foreign occupation of Afghanistan is triggering a backlash inside of the country, as well as destabilizing Pakistan. ++ There …More

October 17, 2008 | Afghanistan: Foreign Troops Are Part of the Problem

Violence, corruption and lawlessness keep pushing Afghanistan into a “downward spiral.” ++ Foreign troops are part of the problem; the US and the NATO focus on air attacks, “putting the life of occupation …More

October 15, 2008 | Afghanistan in a Downward Spiral

Even President Bush has now come to realize that Afghanistan is “the real frontline in the war on terror.” ++ America’s sixteen intelligence agencies agree that Afghanistan is on a “downward spiral.” ++ Sobering estimates say it will be five …More

October 8, 2008 | Iraqi-Style Surge Will Not Fit Afghanistan

John McCain wants to bring an Iraqi-style surge to Afghanistan to “turn around the war,” but the inability to differentiate between the two countries will ensure failure in Afghanistan. ++ There, there is no sectarian civil war, …More

October 7, 2008 | Out of Afghanistan Means out of Business for NATO

Djörn Eversteijn: NATO’s reliance on its global partnerships may seem innocuous today. Contributions in Afghanistan from a diverse array of nations, such as Australia and South Korea, are seen as indispensable in security and reconstruction efforts. Until a full commitment by member states is exhibited, though, NATO’s long-term credibility is in danger. …More

September 23, 2008 | Mission Impossible: Victory in Afghanistan

NATO is facing a wily and pitiless enemy in Afghanistan. ++ Taliban forces have reconstituted themselves into a formidable foe. ++ The transfer of nearly 5,000 troops from Iraq - where the situation is more dire than the Bush …More

September 22, 2008 | It is High Time for Coordinated Transatlantic Action

Atlantik-Brücke’s Young Leaders: The Atlantic partners must jointly address the economic slowdown, competition over scarce resources and energy dependence. Moreover, the transatlantic relationship faces an immediate, critical test in Afghanistan. Success there is needed as a demonstration of our ability to effectively address common security threats. …More

September 17, 2008 | Victory Possible in Afghanistan

Military victory in Afghanistan is achievable, but are we “willing to pay the high cost?” ++ Chura Valley in Uruzgan province is secure thanks to a Dutch reconstruction team, while in a nearby valley snipers reign. ++ This is a …More

September 15, 2008 | Moscow Carefully Eyeing Afghanistan

Russia is convinced that it can deal with the West, but worries about the dangerous Afghanistan. ++ The well-being of the Russian economy and a good relationship with its domestic Muslim population depend on a stable Afghanistan. ++ …More

September 15, 2008 | NATO and the Forgotten War

Djörn Eversteijn: Afghanistan is the litmus test for the relevance of history’s most successful military alliance in the 21st century. Despite official statements that emphasize the importance of the alliance’s mission in Afghanistan, both member states’ long-term commitment and substantial contributions to the mission remain largely absent. Member states’ unwillingness not only endangers the future of Afghanistan, but, perhaps even more importantly, also puts the future of the transatlantic alliance at risk. …More

September 15, 2008 | It is Time to Withdraw From Afghanistan

Bernhard Lucke: It is not lack of civil investment, but the occupation that is the problem in Afghanistan. The “war on terror” is creating terrorism instead of controlling it. We are getting used to eroding morals and rising brutality, a way which may lead to new big wars. …More


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