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Strengthen the Rule of Law in Afghanistan

The Afghan police force is one of the most visible faces of the government at the local level, and its survival and success will be critical to the Afghan state’s continued viability and eventual independence from international security dependency—a fact that Taliban insurgent commanders recognize.

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The Afghan police force is one of the most visible faces of the government at the local level, and its survival and success will be critical to the Afghan state’s continued viability and eventual independence from international security dependency—a fact that Taliban insurgent commanders recognize. Yet, training missions for the army and police are still lagging.

Despite the $6.2 billion spent on training from 2002-2008, only 7 percent of police units were rated capable with coalition support or partially capable, by the Department of Defense. Zero units were rated fully capable. Staffing for these training missions is also unacceptably low: the U.S./NATO level of trainers with the Afghan National Police is 39 percent.

There are several steps that the United States and international community partners can take to reform and improve the Afghan police force and judicial system. These would include taking anti-corruption measures in the Ministry of Interior, providing more military trainers for the police, establishing civilian mentors for the force, recruiting more women, and supporting a national judicial sector strategy.

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