By the Numbers: Independent Afghan Security Forces

Afghan army troops in Zari in April 2013. <em>Photo: David Axe</em>

Afghan army troops in Zari in April 2013. Photo: David Axe


It’s conventional wisdom in U.S. military policy circles that Afghanistan’s security forces, specifically its national army and police, have become hopelessly dependent on the U.S.-led coalition for training, logistical and air support and battlefield leadership.

But the critics forget: for much of its modern history before the 2001 U.S. invasion, Afghanistan had independent security forces. And it will have them again. Here, by the numbers, are some handy metrics charting the increasing self-sufficiency of Afghan troops in part of Kandahar province in 2013, a year before the withdrawal of the main American combat formations:

  • 228: the number of independent Afghan forces patrols in Zari district, northern Kandahar, in the first week of April, according to U.S. Army Maj. Thomas Casey, 3-41 Infantry
  • 66: the number of combined U.S.-Afghan patrols during the same period
  • 3-4: the approximate number of times the independent Afghan patrols requested U.S. assistance
  • 47: the number of Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams within the Afghan army’s 205th Corps in northern and western Kandahar in 2013, according to U.S. Army Col. Ken Adgie, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division
  • 44: the number of those EOD teams certified by the U.S.-led NATO International Security Assistance Force
  • 26: the number of NATO ISAF bases in northern and western Kandahar in January, according to Adgie
  • 19: the number of NATO bases in April as ISAF draws down
  • 1: the number of times Afghan forces protested the shuttering of a NATO base in Kandahar this year
  • 13: the number of Improvised Explosive Devices found by Afghan Local Police in Zari in one day in March, according to U.S. Army Capt. Aaron Daniele, Bravo Company, 3-41 Infantry
This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Armed Forces, Authors, David Axe, English, States and Regions.

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