DOD Releases Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan
Today the Department of Defense provided to Congress a report on “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan” covering events during the period from December 1, 2016, through May 31, 2017. The report was submitted in accordance with requirements in Section 1225 of the Fiscal 2015 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as amended by Sections 1231 and 1531 of the Fiscal 2016 NDAA and Sections 1215 and 1521 of the Fiscal 17 NDAA.
The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) effectively conducted training and reequipped units during the winter. In March, the Afghan forces began implementing a yearlong campaign against the insurgency and simultaneously restructuring the force to build offensive capabilities over time according to a plan called the “ANDSF Road Map.” Major initiatives within the Road Map include transitioning the Afghan Air Force from Russian Mi-17 helicopters to U.S. UH-60 helicopters over the next several years, expanding the Afghan Special Forces, and gaining efficiencies through realigning paramilitary organizations from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Defense.
The ANDSF continue to make progress in their efforts to counter terrorist networks and provide the United States with a valuable counterterrorism partner. Despite the self-proclaimed Islamic State’s regional affiliate, ISIS-Khorasan, conducting high profile attacks in Kabul, the organization’s influence has diminished. Both Afghan and U.S. forces have committed to defeating the organization, and continued operations and airstrikes against ISIS-K have largely confined the group to a few districts in Nangarhar province.
Afghanistan is at a critical point in the fight against the insurgency. The plan to modify the force structure and develop a more agile and lethal force is underway. The ANDSF must weather the storm from the insurgency and deny the Taliban strategic victories on the battlefield, fight ISIS-K, and grow and train the defense forces. With renewed interest in planning for the future, Afghanistan has demonstrated its resolve to face these challenges, furthering its commitment to be a viable security partner to the United States. The United States and its NATO allies and operational partners remain committed to supporting the Afghan people and institutions in partnership with the Afghan Government and to furthering the promise of a secure, stable, and prosperous Afghanistan.
The report is posted at https://www.defense.gov/Portals/1/Documents/pubs/June_2017_1225_Report_to_Congress.pdf.