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CNA's Independent Assessment of the Afghan National Security Forces

Published January 24, 2014

The 2013 National Defense Authorization Act required an independent assessment of the Afghan National Security Forces. The Department of Defense selected the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA), whose Center for Strategic Studies provided this report on January 24, 2014.

NDAA mandated assessment
The NDAA mandates that the independent assessment of the ANSF should address the following matters, which this report does:
1. The likely internal and regional security environment for Afghanistan over the next decade, including challenges and threats to the security and sovereignty of Afghanistan from state and non-state actors.
2. The strength, force structure, force posture, and capabilities required to make the ANSF capa
ble of providing security for their own country so as to prevent Afghanistan from ever again
becoming a safe haven for terrorists that threaten Afghanistan, the region, and the world.
3. Any capability gaps in the ANSF that are likely to persist after 2014 and that will require contin
ued support from the United States (U.S.) and its allies.
4. Whether current proposals for the resourcing of the ANSF after 2014 are adequate to establish and maintain long-term security for the Afghan people, and implications for U.S. national security interests of the under-resourcing of the ANSF.
From report's introductory letter:
The CNA report concludes taht the security environment in Afghanistan will be more challenging after the draw-down of itnerantional forces in 2014; that the Taliban insurgency will become a greater threat to stability than now; and that a small group of al Qaeda members will remain active in remote valleys of northeastern Afghanistan. We also conclude that the ANSF will require a security force (Afghan National Army and Policy) of 373,400 people--smaller than their present size bu significantly larger than was envisaged at the 2012 NATO summit in Chicago. A force of lesser size than 373,000 would, in our assessment, increase the risk of instability of afghanistan and make success less likely for the U.S. policy goal for Afghanistan.

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