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GAO: Afghanistan Security

February 23, 2012

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As the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan depends in part on building that country's capacity to provide for its own security, the Government Accountability Office evaluates the use of contractor personnel to fill skill and resource gaps in training and equipping the Afghan National Security Forces.

The U.S. strategy in Afghanistan depends in part on building that country's capacity to provide for its own security by training and equipping the Afghan National Security Forces, which includes the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police (ANP). Since 2002, the United States has allocated over $43 billion to train, equip, and sustain the Afghan National Security Forces, which includes about $14 billion to train, equip, and sustain the ANP. The ANP training program is intended to create and sustain a professionally-led police force that is accountable to the Afghan people and is capable of enforcing laws and maintaining civil order. Currently, U.S., coalition, and Department of Defense (DOD) civilian contractor personnel assist the Afghan Ministry of Interior in training the ANP at 23 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) training sites and in mentoring ANP units in the field.

From 2002 through 2010, the Department of State (State) was involved in the ANP training program. During this time, State contracted with DynCorp International (DynCorp) to provide police mentors and trainers and to develop and execute the ANP training program. DOD became involved in ANP training in 2004, working in conjunction with State, DynCorp, and others. In 2009, DOD became the lead U.S. agency for helping Afghanistan reform the ANP and the Afghan Ministry of Interior, which oversees the ANP. In December 2010, DOD awarded DynCorp a new contract for ANP training, mentoring, maintenance, logistics, and security support. The contract has a potential value over $1 billion, if all options are exercised.

In a June 2010 report, the Senate Committee on Armed Services expressed concern about problems with the ANP training program, including lapses in oversight and management of the contract that were identified by the DOD and State Inspectors General. In January 2011, Congress required that we report on the use of U.S. government (USG) personnel, rather than contractor personnel, to train the ANP. In response, this report describes (1) the roles and responsibilities of USG and contractor personnel in the ANP training program; (2) the extent to which DOD has assessed (a) the advantages and disadvantages of using USG or contractor personnel for ANP training and (b) the potential impact of transferring responsibilities for ANP training from contractor to USG personnel; and (3) lessons learned from other DOD foreign police training programs that directly relate to the advantages and disadvantages of using USG personnel or contractors.

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