These points, basic to the survival of the Afghan nationwide safety forces as soon as the U.S. army withdraws, are nonetheless being hashed out. That they’re nonetheless being addressed even because the final U.S. troops are making ready to depart speaks to the years of disconnect between the Pentagon and a succession of presidents, all of whom, at one level or one other, sought a extra lowered American presence within the nation than officers within the army and the Protection Division.
Find out how to take care of the contractors is only one of various urgent issues created by the fast withdrawal of American troops. The C.I.A. is struggling to make sure that it may well collect intelligence about potential threats from Afghanistan as soon as the U.S. army presence ends.
The Pentagon continues to be weighing the way it will strike terrorist teams like Al Qaeda from afar as soon as it now not has troops or warplanes in Afghanistan. And the administration has but to strike offers to place troops in any close by nations for counterterrorism operations.
The Afghan authorities has all the time relied closely on overseas contractors and trainers. As of this spring, there have been over 18,000 Protection Division contractors in Afghanistan, together with 6,000 Individuals, 5,000 Afghans and seven,000 from different international locations, 40 % of whom are liable for logistics, upkeep or coaching duties, in keeping with John F. Sopko, the particular inspector basic for Afghanistan reconstruction.
The Afghan safety forces depend on these contractors to take care of their tools, handle provide chains and practice their army and police to function the superior tools that america has purchased for them.
For example, Mr. Sopko spoke of the challenges the Afghans had been going through with upkeep work throughout a digital discussion board this yr. As of December, he stated, the Afghan Nationwide Military was finishing slightly below 20 % of its personal upkeep work orders, effectively beneath the purpose of 80 % that had been set, and the 51 % that they accomplished in 2018. The Afghan Nationwide Police carried out solely 12 % of its personal upkeep work in opposition to a goal of 35 %.
Since 2010, the Protection Division has appropriated over $8.5 billion to develop a succesful and sustainable Afghan Air Power and its particular mission wing, however American policymakers and commanders have all the time identified that each would want continued, costly logistics assist from contractors for plane upkeep and maintainer coaching, the inspector basic’s workplace concluded in a report in February.