'ISAF to assess Afghan security every six months'
Washington: A top American commander in Afghanistan on Wednesday said the ISAF would assess the operational conditions and capability of the Afghan security forces every six months in the run-up to the 2014 drawdown.
"The ISAF commander would assess the operational conditions, the capability of the Afghan national security forces periodically -- and right now we're planning every six months -- so that we can adapt our plan ultimately for the final size and structure of the ANSF (Afghan National Security Force) in the post-2014 period as conditions require," Gen John Allen, Commander of the US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, said.
In the last 12 months, he said the Afghan security forces have expanded from 276,000 to 340,000, and they'll reach their full surge strength string ahead of the scheduled deadline in October.
Additionally, Afghan forces are increasingly in the lead throughout the battle space, and the Afghans were in the lead for the planning of this year's campaign plan, Operation Naweed.
Noting that the recent announcement of tranche three of transition is a significant milestone, he said the coming transition of every provincial capital and Afghan national security forces providing security lead for three-quarters of the population marks ever-increasing authority, of capability of the Afghan government and the ANSF.
"As a result of this success we are able to increasingly reposture our own forces from the conventional formations to advisory teams, which is the logical next step in the counterinsurgency," he said.
Observing that insurgencies have seldom been defeated by foreign forces and instead, they have been ultimately beaten by indigenous or national forces, Allen said transition, then, is the lynchpin of US strategy, not just the way out.
ISAF advisers will be alongside our Afghan partners, still combat ready but increasingly there to enable Afghan lead, he added.
Allen said the Chicago summit was a powerful signal of international support for the Afghan-led process of reconciliation.
And in this process resides the greatest hope for the Taliban in the future, he noted.
"In the wake of this historic NATO summit, as the Taliban see that their time grows short, they can choose to be part of the prosperous future of Afghanistan but they can never prevail through the use of violence and intimidation. This campaign has been long, it has been difficult and it has been costly, but I believe that ISAF's campaign is on track," he said.