U.S. forces help train new Kabul police recruits to fire the AK-47 assault rifle on the grounds of the Kabul Military Training Center in this 2009 photo. A Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report found that the Defense Department has not accurately tracked 747,000 weapons purchased for Afghan National Security Forces.
STARS AND STRIPES
By Carlo Munoz
Published: December 10, 2014
After 13 years of war and billions in aid, Afghanistan’s security forces are “not fiscally sustainable” at current levels, a U.S. government watchdog said Wednesday, raising questions about whether the Afghans can maintain the fight against the Taliban as U.S. and NATO troops leave the country.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, in a new report, also criticized the Afghan government’s inability to curb rampant official corruption and rein in the escalating narcotics trade.
Those findings are at odds with the upbeat assessment of Afghanistan’s military by the top NATO commander, Gen. John Campbell, who spoke Monday at the closing ceremony for the Joint Command of the International Security Assistance Force. He said that Afghanistan’s army and police “overmatch the enemy wherever and whenever they meet.”
The SIGAR report says that more than half of the $62 billion the U.S. has spent in reconstruction programs has gone toward building and maintaining the security forces.
Nonetheless the report adds: “This substantial investment in Afghanistan’s security is at risk … Much work remains to be done to develop and maintain a modern army and national police.”
The situation is likely to get only worse as the current U.S. and NATO mission winds down and as international donors cut back funding. The risks include “renewed civil war in Afghanistan and increased instability in the region,” SIGAR says, citing an assessment of Afghanistan’s security situation by the Center for Naval Analyses.