SIGAR Quarterly Report July 2017 – The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction has issued its quarterly report to Congress – dated July 30, 2017. This 272-page document is prepared with the assistance of the United States Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) and HQs Resolute Support (NATO command in Kabul).
The report summarizes the work that SIGAR performs in Afghanistan and updates information on the reconstruction efforts over the past three months (April – June). There are four major sections and some appendices. Section 3 concerns items of interest (at least to this writer) on status of funds, security, governance, economic and social development, and counternarcotics.
According to the report the war in Afghanistan can be characterized as a stalemate – that if unchecked – can deteriorate further in favor of the insurgency. The Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) have not performed any better this year than last year – and the Taliban are on a path to have another good year. Security incidents and civilian casualties remain high. Insurgent groups have continued their high-profile attacks in Kabul. The number of districts under Taliban control or influence remains the same – although the RS HQs way of evaluating district control remains very questionable.
The report provides an update on the eight essential functions – the framework that Resolute Support uses to conduct their Train, Advise, and Assist mission with the security ministries and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The Afghans, with the assistance of Resolute Support, has been implementing its Four-Year ANDSF Road Map – the strategic plan to streamline and bolster the ANDSF and expand the government’s control over population centers.
Once again Afghanistan’s special operations units continue to be the one optimistic factor when evaluating the Afghan security forces. The equipment operational readiness rate for the Afghan National Army Special Operations Command (ANASOC) is at 78% – much higher than most of the ANA corps (one as low as 42%). The Special Mission Wing (SMW) continues to provide exceptional support to the Afghan SOF units of the MoD and MoI.
A major component of the Four Year ANDSF Road Map is the doubling of the size and combat power of the Afghan Special Security Forces (ASSF). This increase in capability will extend to the SMW – which is the only ANDSF aviation force with night-vision capabilities. Another important aspect concerning the ASSF is the slow-down in operations in order to allow the Afghan SOF units to conduct training during the Winter Campaign. The ASSF have consistently been the security blanket for the ANDSF – conducting over 70% of the offensive operations of the ANDSF despite being a small part of the overall security structure.
One reason for the continued success of ANASOC, MoI SOF units, and the Special Mission Wing is the presence of advisors and trainers down to the tactical level. NATO Special Operations Component Command – Afghanistan (NSOCC-A) continues to provide advisor teams down to the kandak level in the fight against the Taliban and the Islamic State insurgents. In addition, NSOCC-A works closely with other Resolute Support organizations to ensure proper support is provided by the ministries to the ASSF units of the MoI and MoD.
You can read SIGAR Quarterly Report July 2017 online or download it at the link below:
Image: Cover of SIGAR Quarterly Report July 2017.