DOD Releases Report on Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan
Today the Department of Defense provided to the Congress the semiannual report “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan” covering events during the period from June 1, 2017 to November 30, 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 and Fiscal 2017 NDAA.
On August 21, 2017, President Trump announced a new South Asia Strategy. Our purpose in Afghanistan remains the same: to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a safe-haven from which terrorist groups can plan and execute attacks on the United States, or our allies and citizens abroad. To accomplish this, we continue to support our Afghan partners and train, advise, and assist its military and government institutions.
Under the new strategy, the United States will continue to support the Afghan government and security forces in the fight against the Taliban, al-Qa’ida, Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-Khorasan (ISIS-K), and other insurgents and terrorists to strengthen the Afghan government and prevent the reestablishment of international terrorist safe-havens in Afghanistan. A major change from our previous strategy is the shift from a time-based approach to a conditions-based one. This shift underscores the U.S. commitment to the continued development of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), provided that our Afghan partners satisfy their obligations.
The new strategy does not mean a return to U.S.-led combat operations; instead, the key to success lies in improving ANDSF capabilities and allow them to lead in the fight against the Taliban. We will continue to work by, with, and through the ANDSF to help them defeat their enemies and to ultimately arrive at a political settlement in Afghanistan.
The United States and Afghan sources indicate this fighting season has been more successful than the last. During this reporting period, the Taliban was unable to threaten any provincial centers, lost control of key districts, and the ANDSF retained control of all major population centers. In addition, the United States and Afghan counterterrorism efforts against the ISIS affiliate in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region, ISIS-K, have dislocated and isolated the group in a small number of districts in Afghanistan. During this reporting period, U.S., coalition, and Afghan efforts remained focused on the four ANDSF priorities: doubling the size and capabilities of the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF); expanding and modernizing the Afghan Air Force (AAF); improving leadership development; and countering corruption.
Click here to access the report.