Anthony Cordesman (with assistance of Bryan Gold and Ashley Hess) has a very interesting article on the state of Afghanistan (AFG). courtesy of CSIS.
Until the US and ISAF honestly and publicly assess areas of insurgent control and influence, the full range of insurgent violence, its political intent, impact, and how this compares with areas of Afghan government and ANSF influence and control, their reporting lacks the scope and integrity to be trustworthy or make effective Transition planning possible.
~page 13 Executive Summary
That doesn’t sound good.
One of the issues I’ve always had is the numbers game used by many to justify the continuation of a failed Afghanistan strategy. While we can certainly look at the number of ANSF (Afghanistan National Security Forces) and see an increase. What you can’t see is if they are any good or if they will stand with the Government when we depart.
Afghan National Security Forces: 337,187 of 352,000 (96%) in uniform
Today, three-quarters of the uniformed defenders of this country are Afghans.
· Afghan Surge (Dec 09 to Oct 12): 195,508 to 337,187 (+140,679); more than four times the U.S. surge of 30,000 troops in the same period.
· Afghanistan has recruited all 187,000 Soldiers and all 157,000 Police—new recruits are awaiting call-up to training centers.
· Afghan National Army: 184,676 of 187,000 (99%); 100% inducted by December 2012; trained, equipped, and fielded by December 2013.
4. Literacy training is required for all illiterate Afghan recruits; up to 85% arrive unable to read and write. After four weeks, up to 90% of these former illiterates graduate reading at the first-third grade levels. This “Afghan G.I. Bill” is a huge incentive for recruiting and reenlistment
The number seem to show things are going according to plan. But are they? After only four weeks of training literacy rates jump from 85% illiterate to 95% able to read on a first through third grade level. Wonderful.
ISAF reports appear to be mostly feel good marketing.
In April of 2011 I wrote that it was time to leave (It’s time to leave Afghanistan), I haven’t changed my mind.
My only conclusion is that the US doesn’t have the will to fight and win wars today. I hope that will change before it’s too late.