The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) took over full security responsibility in Afghanistan, after the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ended the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission.
The ANDSF are highly respected by the majority of Afghans. The multiethnic forces show strong commitment to the mission, which they see as a legitimate duty and a patriotic cause worth fighting for. However, they do not want to get killed because of poor leadership and inadequate fighting equipment and means.
Institutionally, the ANDSF’s legitimacy derives from the legitimacy of the government—a legal authority that instills a sense of devotion, loyalty, and resilience into state institutions including the army and police. This emanates not only from the government’s representation of and political and legal acceptance by its constituencies but also from its effectiveness.
Although the NATO combat mission ended and international military assistance declined at the outset of 2015, the ANDSF held their own and foiled the Taliban’s repeated effort to overrun key areas. Despite challenges, the ANDSF proved their resolve to fight and learn from their mistakes. The ANDSF have been able to reverse Taliban inroads into some remote district centers, albeit with high costs in lives and materials.
Meeting the Special Operation Unit of the Ministry of Interior the other day, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani called on the Afghan security forces to protect the people from rebels and suicide bombers.
“Afghanistan is fighting against terrorism and you have chosen a hard way of sacrificing your lives for the protection of your people and human values, but your this duty is far sacred and prideful,” President Ghani told them.
The brave Afghan security forces were protecting the country’s independence and national sovereignty in order to help ensure a peaceful environment for the sake of stability and economic development in the country.
The president said the Afghan forces in their military uniforms did not belong to a specific tribe or area, but they belonged to the whole of the country.
The terrorists trying to destabilize Afghanistan and once again establish their safe havens, but fortunately the courageous Afghan security forces would not let them achieve such goals, how the Afghan security forces still need more development and support to win full trust of the people.
The ultimate goal for the United States and ANDSF should be building and sustaining indigenous defense and security capacity sufficient to deal with existing and emerging threats in the region. This involves not only generating and maintaining adequate forces but also ensuring the ANDSF’s financial sustainability, operational effectiveness, and ability to thwart adaptive enemies in primarily nonconventional combat.
What the ANDSF crucially need is to improve coordination in the chain of ground units, the commanding officers and the central headquarters. The higher leadership of the military and the commanding officers need to be able to make time-manner strategic decisions over the war issues. This is vital for seeing real differences in the counter-insurgency campaign.