Afghan Local Police training halted
03 September 2012
Training for around 1,000 Afghan Local Police (ALP) has been halted to allow the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to carry out an "intensive re-vetting process" for all of the ALP's 16,300 members, it has been announced.
ISAF has suffered a rise in 'green on blue' attacks in recent weeks, with Afghan soldiers and police killing 45 Western personnel in 30 high profile incidents already this year. The re-vetting process is aimed at discovering personnel who may carry out such attacks – either through Taliban influence or personal grudges - and removing them from Afghan security forces.
The ALP, often described as a 'militia', is separate from the Afghan National Police and was formed in 2010. Trained by US Special Operations Forces (SOF), the ALP will continue to operate while the training pause and re-vetting work is carried out.
Some 8,000 Afghan commandos and 3,000 members of Afghan Special Operations Forces are also currently being re-vetted, while all 350,000 members of the Afghan National Security Forces have been checked already, leading to around 300 dismissals and some prosecutions.
Colonel Thomas Collins, spokesman for US Forces in Afghanistan, said: "Despite the recent rise in insider attacks, they are relatively rare among SOF-partnered forces
"…While we have full trust and confidence in our Afghan partners, we believe this is a necessary step to validate our vetting process and ensure the quality indicative of Afghan Local Police."
The suspension was first announced by Major General Raymond Thomas, the head of the American Special Operations command, on 1 September.
Lieutenant General Adrian Bradshaw, Deputy Commander of ISAF, said: "The measures being applied to ANA special forces and ALP personnel reflect the intensive effort to recheck the vetting status of some 350,000 ANSF personnel as part of a number of actions recently instituted to reinforce existing precautions related to the insider threat. Much of this re-vetting task has already been completed and numbers of individuals, where vetting status has been found to be in doubt, have been suspended pending further investigation, or removed from the force."
Bradshaw said that ISAF was still confident that Afghan forces would be able to take over security responsibility in 2014 following the introduction of a series of new measures to tighten security.
The measures include an "improved" vetting process, an increase in counterintelligence teams, new mandatory interviews for Afghan soldiers returning from leave, and a new reporting system for insider threats – including an anonymous reporting system.
HAVE YOUR SAY
05 September 2012
When the Blues attacked the Greens with all its military might in 2011, it had no idea that the tide could turn in an opposite direction. So far it had pinned all its hopes, and bet all its dollars, on the loyalties of Afghan forces. With the alarming shift of positions, it is not difficult to predict the fate of very cherished endgame.
passivevoices - Islamabad, Pakistan