2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...

2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...
     Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...
A member of a U.S. civil-engineering squadron checks his backhoe at Bagram Airfield.
(USAF photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert Cloys)

Front cover photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Ken Scar
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...


    I am pleased to present SIGAR’s 2019 High-Risk List to the 116th Congress and
the Secretaries of State and Defense.
    This edition of the High-Risk List is issued pursuant to SIGAR’s statutory
obligation to make recommendations to promote economy, efficiency, and effec-
tiveness. Like its two predecessor reports, it identifies serious threats to the United
States’ $132 billion reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. With negotiations under-
way that could lead to the end of America’s longest war, this report also identifies
risks to the reconstruction effort that might persist or arise in the wake of any
peace agreement that might be reached.
    The $132 billion appropriated since 2002 for Afghanistan’s reconstruction
has been used to train and equip Afghan security forces, strengthen government
institutions, promote the rule of law, protect women’s rights, improve health and
education, and stimulate economic development, among other objectives.
    Yet the gains from our nation’s investment in Afghanistan’s reconstruction face
multiple threats: continued insecurity, endemic corruption, weak Afghan institu-
tions, the insidious impact of the narcotics trade, and inadequate coordination and
oversight by donors.
    While an equitable and sustainable peace agreement in Afghanistan could end
much of the violence that presents the greatest threat to the reconstruction effort,
a peace agreement may bring its own set of challenges to sustaining the gains that
the United States, its Coalition partners, and the Afghan government have achieved
over that time.
    For example, a failure to successfully reintegrate Taliban fighters and their fam-
ilies into Afghan society, a failure to improve civil policing, and a failure to ensure
effective oversight of continuing foreign financial assistance could each undermine
the sustainability of any peace agreement that might be reached.
    I hope that policymakers will find the High-Risk List useful as they chart the
future course of America’s engagement in Afghanistan. The American blood and
treasure expended over the past 17 years demands a sober assessment of the risks
facing the reconstruction effort, whether or not a peace agreement is reached.


John F. Sopko
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

                      2530 CRYSTAL DRIVE ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22202
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...
JOWZJAN                      KUNDUZ              BADAKHSHAN
                                             BALKH                    TAKHAR

                   FARYAB                                     BAGHLAN
                               SAR-E PUL
                                                              PANJSHIR NURISTAN
                                                       PARWAN     KAPISA     KUNAR
                                             BAMYAN                  LAGHMAN
HERAT                                                        KABUL
                   GHOR                                     LOGAR
                                DAYKUNDI                              PAKTIYA
                                                   GHAZNI                 KHOST


                          KANDAHAR                                                     Provinces where SIGAR has conducted
                                                                                       or commissioned audit, inspection,
                                                                                       special project, and/or investigation work
                                                                                       as of December 31, 2018.
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...

                              2                        4                  10
                                                           Widespread Insecurity

                            18                     24                     28
            HIGH-RISK AREA 2:        HIGH-RISK AREA 3:     HIGH-RISK AREA 4:
           Underdeveloped Civil      Endemic Corruption     Sluggish Economic
            Policing Capability                                   Growth

                            34                     40                     46
            HIGH-RISK AREA 5:        HIGH-RISK AREA 6:     HIGH-RISK AREA 7:
           Illicit Narcotics Trade      Threats to           Reintegration of
                                      Women’s Rights         Ex-Combatants

                            50                     56                     58
            HIGH-RISK AREA 8:          CONCLUSION:              ENDNOTES
            Restricted Oversight       The Day After
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...

    The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan        on reconstructing the Afghan National
    Reconstruction (SIGAR) is publishing this            Army (ANA) than on the Afghan National
    High-Risk List to alert Members of the 116th         Police (ANP).
    Congress and the Secretaries of State and          • In the event of a peace settlement, there is
    Defense to major areas of the reconstruction         no comprehensive strategy for a competent
    effort in Afghanistan at risk of waste, fraud,       civil police force backed by the rule of law.
    abuse, mismanagement, or mission failure.          • Current ANP sustainment costs are well
    Since 2014, SIGAR has developed a high-risk list     beyond the Afghan government’s ability
    for each new Congress.                               to fund and will require continued foreign
                                                         assistance well into the future.
    The 2019 High-Risk List differs from the pre-
    vious two in that it addresses not only risks
    to the current reconstruction effort, but risks    ENDEMIC CORRUPTION
    that might persist or arise in the event of a
    peace settlement between the Taliban and the       • According to the Department of Defense
    Afghan government. The eight current high-risk       (DOD), “corruption remains the top
    areas are:                                           strategic threat to the legitimacy and
                                                         success of the Afghan government.”
                                                       • Corruption and threats to the rule of law
                                                         persist despite anticorruption efforts by the
    WIDESPREAD INSECURITY                                Afghan government and donor nations.
                                                       • In its lessons learned report, Corruption in
    • With or without a peace settlement,                Conflict: Lessons from the U.S. Experience
      Afghanistan will likely continue to                in Afghanistan, SIGAR concluded that
      grapple with multiple violent-extremist            failure to effectively address systemic
      organizations, who threaten Afghanistan and        corruption means U.S. reconstruction
      the international community.                       programs, at best, will continue to be
    • The Afghan National Defense and Security           subverted and, at worst, will fail.
      Forces (ANDSF) are constrained by
      capability challenges and depend on donor
      support of $4 billion to $5 billion per year     SLUGGISH ECONOMIC GROWTH
      to fund their sustainment, equipment,
      infrastructure, and training costs.              • The current U.S. strategy for Afghanistan
    • According to the NATO Resolute Support             states that U.S. efforts in Afghanistan
      (RS) mission, control of Afghanistan’s             cannot be sustained without a growing
      districts, population, and territory has           Afghan economy.
      become more contested over the last              • However, Afghanistan’s licit economic
      two years, resulting in a stalemated               growth has been sluggish since 2014 despite
      battlefield environment.                           concerted efforts to increase growth by the
                                                         U.S. and other donors.
                                                       • While a sustainable peace agreement could
    UNDERDEVELOPED CIVIL                                 bolster growth prospects, numerous barriers
    POLICING CAPABILITY                                  to growth are likely to remain and new
                                                         challenges may arise as the Afghan economy
2   • Throughout the reconstruction effort, the          is confronted with returning refugees and
      United States has placed more emphasis             former Taliban fighters and their families.
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...

                                                     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
THE ILLICIT NARCOTICS TRADE                             data collection, vetting, monitoring and
                                                        evaluation, and resource mobilization—that
• Afghanistan remains the global leader in              would test the capacities of the Afghan
  opium-poppy cultivation and the two highest           government and international donors.
  years of cultivation were 2017 and 2018.
• The illicit drug trade funds the Taliban
  insurgency as well as corrupt members of           RESTRICTED OVERSIGHT
  the Afghan government, military, and police,
  and also employs nearly 600,000 Afghans.           • The ability of U.S., Coalition, and
• A truce or peace settlement between the              international employees to monitor, manage,
  Taliban and the Afghan government may                and oversee programs in Afghanistan
  not necessarily lead to a decline in the illicit     will only become more problematic
  narcotics trade.                                     if the security environment does not
                                                       improve markedly, or if a possible peace
                                                       settlement entails further reductions in
THREATS TO WOMEN’S RIGHTS                              foreign personnel without accompanying
                                                       improvement in Afghanistan’s governance.
• The United States has spent more than              • Effective oversight has also been weakened
  $1 billion since 2002 to advance the status of       by many instances of poor documentation,
  women in Afghanistan.                                failure to monitor contract compliance
• Despite this investment, gains by women              and work quality, inattention to holding
  in Afghanistan remain fragile even with              contractors and grantees accountable for
  a constitution that nominally protects               unsatisfactory performance, and insufficient
  women’s rights.                                      control measures to mitigate the effects
• During their 1996–2001 regime, the Taliban           of corruption.
  oppressed women brutally, leading to               • If more U.S. reconstruction funds are
  concerns that women’s rights will not be             provided directly to the Afghan government
  protected in the event of a peace settlement         on-budget, strong accountability measures
  with the group.                                      and internal controls by the Afghan
                                                       government must be in place, as well as
                                                       oversight of those measures and controls.
THE CHALLENGE OF                                     • Likewise, if more U.S. and other donor
REINTEGRATION                                          on-budget assistance is provided through
                                                       international trust funds such as the
• The social, economic, and political                  Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, the
  reintegration of tens of thousands of former         Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan,
  fighters into Afghan society will be critical        and the Afghanistan Infrastructure Trust
  for the country to achieve lasting peace             Fund, enhanced accountability measures
  and stability.                                       and internal controls by the Afghan
• Ex-combatants will face the challenges of a          government must be in place, as well as
  weak economy with few livelihood options,            oversight of those measures and controls
  political uncertainty, ongoing insecurity,           by the international organizations and the
  and distrust among a populace traumatized            donor community.
  by war.
• Formal reintegration efforts would require                                                               3
  many programmatic capabilities—including
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...

    IN THE MIDST OF PEACE TALKS:                                      Setbacks or outright failure in sustaining that
    HOPING FOR THE BEST,                                              progress could gravely impair the chances
    PREPARING FOR THE WORST                                           that Afghanistan could become a peaceful,
                                                                      stable state, operating under the rule of law,
    The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan                     respecting human rights, and advancing in
    Reconstruction (SIGAR) is publishing this                         general development.
    High-Risk List to alert Members of the 116th                         Details obviously remain to be determined,
    Congress and the Secretaries of State and                         but to judge by statements from U.S. and
    Defense to major areas of the reconstruction                      Taliban negotiators, as well as from media
    effort in Afghanistan at risk of waste, fraud,                    reports, a peace deal and new political arrange-
    abuse, mismanagement, or mission failure.1                        ments, while positive, could pose some risks
       This third High-Risk List differs from its two                 to important aspects of the largely U.S.-funded
    predecessors in one critical respect: it appears                  reconstruction effort, including:
    in the midst of talks on creating an arrangement                  • the capability and effective use of
    for a peace that aims to end the violent conflict                     Afghan security forces, particularly for
    with the Taliban now in its 18th year.                                counterterrorism operations
       Peace would be welcome news for the                            • protection of human rights, including the
    people of Afghanistan as well as for the interna-                     rights of Afghan women
    tional security forces, humanitarian missions,                    • securing democratic governance processes
    reconstruction personnel, and nongovernmental                         and upholding the rule of law
    organizations who have sought to rebuild the                      • suppressing corruption
    country, often under deadly conditions. But a                     • countering the narcotics trade and
    peace settlement could also bring its own set of                      promoting alternative livelihoods for
    challenges to sustaining what has been achieved                       farmers
    since 2001 in one of the world’s most isolated,                   • promoting economic growth
    impoverished, and conflict-plagued countries.                         and development
                                                                      • oversight of and accountability for U.S.
                                                                          funds provided directly to the Afghan
      WHAT THIS REPORT DOES AND DOES NOT DO                               government or routed to it via multilateral
      The 2019 SIGAR High-Risk List takes no position on                  trust funds
      whether a peace deal in Afghanistan is achievable,              • sustainability of U.S.-funded institutions,
      imminent, or practicable. It does not predict in what context       programs, and property provided
      or scenarios a deal would emerge or what provisions it              in Afghanistan
      would or should include. It does not attempt to quantify
      risks or assign probabilities of their occurrence.                  In addition to threatening U.S. reconstruction
                                                                      goals, the risks in these areas also pose serious
      What this report does do is review areas of the
                                                                      threats to lasting peace. For example, failure
      reconstruction effort that are currently at serious risk and
                                                                      to successfully reintegrate an estimated 60,000
      point out grounds for reasonable concern regarding risks
                                                                      Taliban fighters and their families, and other
      that may persist, be magnified, or emerge despite or even
                                                                      illegal armed groups, could undermine the suc-
      because of a peace deal. Protecting the gains of the U.S.
                                                                      cessful implementation of any peace agreement.
      reconstruction effort thus far and protecting U.S. taxpayers’
                                                                          The grounds for these concerns, discussion
      and Afghan citizens’ interest in the success of future
                                                                      of their possible impacts, and related questions
      assistance requires a sober assessment of “the day after”
                                                                      for policymakers are laid out in the topical sec-
      that might attend the conclusion of a peace deal.
4                                                                     tions of this report.
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...


After responding to a bomb explosion in Kabul, Afghan security forces scatter as a second bomb explodes.
(Voice of America photo)

   As this report was being prepared, the                  with investigations, oversight, and reporting,
contours of a sustainable peace agreement                  but also with giving advice on significant issues
remained speculative. Meanwhile, the Taliban               and problems that impact our government’s
insurgency is not monolithic, and the post-                policies and programs in Afghanistan. It is our
war intentions of the various terrorist and                hope that Congress and the Administration will
narco-criminal networks that also operate in               find this exercise useful in considering future
Afghanistan present another set of variables to            options in Afghanistan.
be considered.                                                 As always, SIGAR stands ready to cooperate
   Nonetheless, both the Afghan government                 with Congress and other stakeholders by pro-
and its international partners in security and             viding briefings and supplying any data from
reconstruction must make prudent assessments               its audits, inspections, criminal investigations,
of what various scenarios for a peaceful set-              quarterly reports, and lessons-learned products
tlement might entail for critical issues and the           that might help determine the best way to pre-
sustainability of programs and projects already            pare for an uncertain future in Afghanistan.
in place.
   This report is intended to provide Congress,
the Administration, and other stakeholders and             BACKGROUND FOR THE
interested parties with SIGAR’s best judgments             NEW CONGRESS
on what areas of the reconstruction effort might
be exposed to high risks of waste, fraud, abuse,           In his 2019 State of the Union address to
or program-objective failure under current                 Congress, President Donald J. Trump said,
circumstances and in the event of a peace settle-          “As we make progress in these negotia-
ment. SIGAR’s authorizing statute, Public Law              tions [with the Taliban], we will be able to          5
No. 110-181, Section 1229, tasks SIGAR not only            reduce our troops’ presence and focus on
2019 HIGH-RISK LIST - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan ...


    Inspector General Sopko and SIGAR staff on a recent inspection of the U.S.-funded Marshal Fahim Defense University
    in Kabul. With the IG are members of his movement team from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service,
    which provides vital support for SIGAR’s oversight work in Afghanistan. (SIGAR photo)

    counterterrorism. . . . After two decades of war,         reconstruction.5 As of December 31, 2018,
    the hour has come to at least try for peace.”2            $10.8 billion appropriated for Afghanistan
       Earlier, President Trump had announced                 reconstruction remained to be disbursed.6
    his South Asia strategy in August 2017, under             Additional appropriations are expected in the
    which an additional 3,500 U.S. troops were                coming fiscal year.
    deployed to Afghanistan to train, advise, and
    assist the Afghan security forces; to conduct             What is Reconstruction?
    air and counterterrorism operations. This
    augmentation raised the total U.S. military               Federal law tasks SIGAR with reporting on
    presence in Afghanistan to 14,000 personnel.3             projects and programs using “any funding
    President Trump said then that the goal of the            mechanism” that supports “any of the follow-
    strategy was to prevent the resurgence of safe            ing purposes: (A) To build or rebuild physical
    havens that enable terrorists to threaten the             infrastructure of Afghanistan. (B) To establish
    United States, and to prevent nuclear weap-               or reestablish a political or societal institu-
    ons and materials from falling into the hands             tion of Afghanistan. (C) To provide products
    of terrorists.4                                           or services to the people of Afghanistan.”7
        Since 2001, more than 2,400 members of                Additionally, SIGAR is to report on the “operat-
    the U.S. armed forces have lost their lives in            ing expenses of agencies or entities receiving
    Afghanistan, while the United States has obli-            amounts appropriated or otherwise made avail-
6   gated more than $780 billion for total efforts            able for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.”8
    in that country, with some 15% obligated for

   As the statutory language suggests, U.S.          of $714 million for governance and economic
reconstruction programs in Afghanistan encom-        development amounts to 12% of FY 2018 spend-
pass a wide variety of activities, including         ing on Afghanistan reconstruction.15 According
supporting Afghan security forces, bolstering        to the U.S. Integrated Country Strategy released
the government’s institutional capacity, expand-     in September 2018, accomplishing the U.S.
ing energy and transportation infrastructure,        policy goal of preventing any further attacks
building schools and clinics, training teachers      on the United States by terrorist groups that
and health-care workers, and promoting busi-         enjoy support or safe haven in Afghanistan will
ness development and the country’s export            require growing the Afghan economy. One goal
potential. Total appropriations for reconstruc-      of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, therefore, is
tion and related costs since FY 2002 stood at        to create economic prosperity by advancing pri-
roughly $132 billion as of December 31, 2018.9       vate-sector-led export growth and job creation,
   The estimated $780 billion in total U.S.          and by bolstering gains in health, education, and
appropriations in Afghanistan since 2001             women’s empowerment.16
includes war funding, diplomatic and consular           About $8.9 billion has been appropriated for
programs, Afghanistan-related operations             counternarcotics programs since 2002 or nearly
of U.S. government entities, and military            7% of total reconstruction funds.17
and embassy construction projects. About                 Most of the remaining reconstruction
$738 billion—or almost 95% of the total—was          spending since 2002 has gone to support civil-
obligated (committed from appropriated funds)        ian operations and humanitarian initiatives.
by the Department of Defense (DOD).10 Other          Another major focus of the reconstruction
obligating agencies involved in Afghanistan          effort is combating widespread corruption in
reconstruction have included the U.S.                Afghan society, including its government and
Agency for International Development and             military institutions.
the Departments of State, Treasury, Justice,
Agriculture, and Commerce.                           How Can Reconstruction Assistance
   Reconstruction costs for Afghanistan make         Support the Administration’s Goal of
up about 15% of total U.S. funds obligated for       Sustainable Peace?
Afghanistan since 2001. The bulk of the U.S.
spending on reconstruction has gone toward           It will be up to the Administration and Congress
security, with 63% of all reconstruction funding,    to decide to what extent reconstruction will
$83.1 billion since 2001, going to build up the      continue if a peace settlement is reached in
Afghan military and police.11 Recent appro-          Afghanistan. Although Afghanistan’s leaders
priations are even more heavily tilted toward        have often stated that their goal is self-reliance,
assisting the Afghan security sector, with about     Afghanistan is nowhere near to being able to
$4.8 billion appropriated, or 82% of total FY 2018   fund its current government—in particular, its
reconstruction funding.12 The funds have been        military and police—with its own resources.
mostly used to provide salaries, infrastructure,        Donor countries are expected to finance
equipment, and training for the approximately        approximately 51% of Afghanistan’s FY 2019
309,000 members of the Afghan National               national government spending of $5.0 billion,
Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF).13               mostly through grants.18 The largest financial
   Some $33.9 billion in U.S. funds has been         expense by far is to train, equip, and sustain the
appropriated since FY 2002 for governance            ANDSF. However, according to the DOD, given
and economic development, or 26% of recon-           the persistence of the insurgency and continued
struction spending.14 However, this effort has       slow growth of the economy, full self-suffi-          7
been scaled down. The current appropriation          ciency by 2024 (the year up to which donors

    have agreed to continue financial support to         troops in 1989, but the cessation of Soviet secu-
    the Afghan government) does not appear real-         rity assistance that led to the collapse of Afghan
    istic, even if security or economic conditions       President Mohammed Najibullah’s regime
    change dramatically.19                               in 1992.24
        For FY 2019, DOD estimated Afghanistan’s
    security funding requirement, including              Reconstruction Requires Oversight
    off-budget funding, at about $6.5 billion, for
    which the United States appropriated $4.9 bil-       With or without a peace settlement, the U.S.
    lion. Afghanistan, by comparison, planned to         mission in Afghanistan and the reconstruction
    contribute only $500 million to the 2019 require-    effort will continue to require vigorous over-
    ment, approximately 20% of its total estimated       sight. Afghanistan remains one of the world’s
    domestic revenues for the coming year, to cover      poorest and most dangerous countries. The
    the expenses of its Ministry of Interior (includ-    ANDSF is not able to protect the population
    ing all police forces) and Ministry of Defense       from insurgents in large parts of the country.
    (including the army and the air force).20            The central government’s capabilities are gen-
        The United States has pledged in the past        erally weak and it often lacks the capacity to
    to continue reconstruction. At the July 2018         manage and account for donor funds.
    NATO Summit in Brussels, NATO allies agreed             Corruption continues to be a challenge.
    to extend their financial sustainment of the         Although the Afghan government has begun to
    ANDSF through 2024.21 At the November 2018           implement an anticorruption strategy, SIGAR
    Geneva Conference on Afghanistan, inter-             has found that significant problems remain to
    national donors reaffirmed their intention to        be addressed.25 In a January 2019 report cover-
    provide $15.2 billion for Afghanistan’s devel-       ing July–September 2018, the U.S. Department
    opment priorities up to 2020 and to direct           of Justice said the Afghan government is slow
    continuing, but gradually declining, financial       to prosecute stalled corruption cases and has a
    support to Afghanistan’s social and economic         poor record of prosecuting powerful and influ-
    development, also up to 2024.22                      ential actors.26 In addition, the nongovernmental
        At a February 2019 hearing of the Senate         organization Transparency International has
    Armed Services Committee, Senator Jack Reed          consistently reported that Afghanistan is per-
    of Rhode Island pointed out that if the United       ceived by experts and business people as one of
    States did not maintain its contribution of          the most corrupt countries in the world.27
    $4 billion a year after a U.S. troop withdrawal,        However, even if the United States were to
    the Afghan security forces would disintegrate.       withdraw most of its remaining troops from
    General Joseph L. Votel, commander of U.S.           Afghanistan, SIGAR would still work to provide
    Central Command, agreed that “there would            the oversight of U.S. taxpayer funds necessary
    need to be continued support.” Furthermore,          to maintain the reconstruction program. SIGAR
    Senator Reed and General Votel agreed that it        has worked for years with Afghan civil-society
    would be challenging to provide oversight for        organizations to expand its outreach to areas
    that assistance if U.S. troops were to withdraw      beyond the control of the U.S. military. Further,
    completely from Afghanistan.23                       if more U.S. funds are to be disbursed on-bud-
        Another example from contemporary Afghan         get—either directly to the Afghan government
    history shows that the concerns of Senator           or through multilateral trust funds—it will be
    Reed and General Votel are warranted about           vitally important that the ministries have strong
    the viability of the Afghan security forces in the   accountability measures and internal controls
8   absence of continued U.S. and international          in place. At the request of President Ghani,
    support. It was not the withdrawal of Soviet         SIGAR currently is conducting a financial audit

of Afghanistan’s power utility, Da Afghanistan
Breshna Sherkat (DABS). SIGAR also has a
strategy in place for looking at the internal
controls of other ministries if the United States
continues to provide substantial amounts of
assistance on-budget to Afghan ministries.

Avoiding Pitfalls to Increase the
Chances of Success
Setting realistic, measurable standards for mon-
itoring and assessing U.S.-funded programs is
important because the baselines chosen inevi-
tably become the standards by which a project
or program will be judged. Further, such judg-
ments should be based on actual outcomes, not
on lists of program inputs or activities that are
easier to measure but do not necessarily indi-
cate effectiveness. Making such assessments is
particularly difficult in a war zone, where agen-
cies often must make educated guesses based
upon imperfect information. Nevertheless, pol-
icy decisions must be made and adjusted based
upon honestly measured results and realistically     SIGAR’s director of research and analysis, Deborah
assessed risks.                                      Scroggins, interviews President Ashraf Ghani at the
                                                     presidential palace in Kabul. (SIGAR photo)

HIGH-RISK AREAS                                         Three of these areas—economic growth,
                                                     women’s rights, and reintegration—are new to
The High-Risk List report focuses on program         the High-Risk List and are reflective of the new
areas and elements of the reconstruction effort      stated goal of the Administration to obtain and
that are: (1) essential to success; (2) at risk of   sustain lasting peace in Afghanistan. Previous
significant and large-scale failure due to waste,    reports treated sustainability as a separate risk
fraud, or abuse; and (3) subject to the control or   area; this report discusses it as an aspect of
influence of the U.S. government.                    each risk topic, as it affects every area of recon-
   Using these criteria, SIGAR has identified        struction in Afghanistan.
eight high-risk issue areas:
 • Widespread Insecurity
 • Underdeveloped Civil Policing Capability
 • Endemic Corruption
 • Sluggish Economic Growth
 • Illicit Narcotics Trade
 • Threats to Women’s Rights
 • Reintegration of Ex-Combatants
 • Restricted Oversight                                                                                    9
A U.S. Air Force colonel briefs IG Sopko, right, on Train, Advise, Assist Command-Air operations. (SIGAR photo)

                                                          HIGH-RISK AREA 1

                                             WIDESPREAD INSECURITY

Since 2001, the main goal of the U.S. inter-                 It is currently unclear whether there will
vention in Afghanistan has been to prevent               be a peace agreement between the Afghan
the country from reverting to a safe haven               government and the Taliban, let alone what
for al-Qaeda and other extremist groups that             that agreement could look like. However, with
threaten the United States and other coun-               or without a sustainable peace settlement
tries.28 To that end, the United States has sought       or a local or nationwide ceasefire between
over the past 17 years to build up the Afghan            the Taliban and the ANDSF, Afghanistan will
National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF)             continue to need a security force to protect
so that they can protect the Afghan population           the Afghan population from internal and
and expel terrorist groups. Of the $132.3 bil-           external threats, provide a policing function
lion the United States has appropriated for              to respond to criminal activity, and control
Afghanistan reconstruction since Fiscal Year             its borders. In either scenario, Afghanistan
(FY) 2002 (as of December 31, 2018), $83.1 bil-          will likely continue to grapple with multiple
lion (63%), has gone toward building, equipping,         violent-extremist organizations that threaten
training, and sustaining the ANDSF, with the             Afghanistan and potentially the international
ultimate goal of creating a more effective and           community. Any political settlement entails the
sustainable security force.29                            risk that not all subordinate groups will abide
     The most enduring threat to the Afghan              by an agreement made by their organization’s
reconstruction effort, and to the U.S. taxpayer’s        leadership. Therefore, insecurity could poten-
investment in that effort, has been an ongoing           tially persist in the form of another insurgency,
and resilient insurgency and the presence in             criminal gangs, or networks involved in other
Afghanistan of terrorist groups such as Islamic          nefarious activities.
State-Khorasan (IS-K). According to the NATO
Resolute Support (RS) mission, control of
Afghanistan’s districts, population, and ter-              Resolute Support: a NATO-led, non-combat mission
ritory has become more contested over the                  to train, advise, and assist the ANDSF. RS was
last two years, resulting in a stalemated bat-             launched January 1, 2015, following the conclusion
tlefield environment between the ANDSF and                 of the previous NATO-led mission, the International
the insurgency.30                                          Security Assistance Force mission (ISAF), and
     With the appointment of the Special                   the transition of full security responsibility to the
Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation              ANDSF. The overarching goal of training, advising,
Zalmay Khalilzad in September 2018, the Trump              and assisting the ANDSF is to help Afghan security
administration further articulated that the                forces and institutions develop sustainable capacity
United States’ goal is to “explor[e] how best to           to defend Afghanistan and protect its citizens.
reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict              Source: RS, “Mission,” accessed online on 2/25/2019 at https://rs.nato.
. . . [and] to support, facilitate, and participate in     int/about-us/mission.aspx.
a peace process in Afghanistan.”31

        The ANDSF will also continue to be con-           terrorist safe haven. SIGAR found that the U.S.
     strained by capability and sustainability            government lacked a comprehensive approach
     challenges. In a post-settlement environment,        to security-sector assistance and a coordinating
     depending on the terms of an agreement, there        body to successfully implement whole-of-
     may also be the challenge of integrating former      government programs that were necessary to
     Taliban fighters into the national security forces   develop a capable and self-sustaining ANDSF.33
     and society (see the reintegration section of           Other recent security-related SIGAR audits,
     this report). These issues could become more         financial audits, special projects, and inspection
     acute should international financial and military    reports have found:
     support decline sharply before, during, or after      • The multi-billion dollar U.S. program to
     peace talks between the Afghan government                provide the Afghan Air Force (AAF) UH-60
     and the Taliban. When asked in a congres-                helicopters is at risk of not having enough
     sional hearing on March 7, 2019, whether the             trained pilots or the capability to maintain
     ANDSF could independently secure Afghanistan             future UH-60s.
     without a peace deal between the Afghan gov-          • Assessments of ANDSF capabilities are
     ernment and the Taliban, Commander of United             unreliable and inconsistent and require
     States Central Command General Joseph Votel              further refining.
     said, “My assessment is the Afghan forces are         • There is a lack of data to assess, monitor,
     dependent upon the Coalition support that                and evaluate U.S. advisors assigned to the
     we provide to them.”32 Without a capable, pro-           Ministry of Defense (MOD) and Ministry
     fessionalized, and sustainable ANDSF, other              of Interior (MOI).
     large-scale reconstruction investments, such          • Management and oversight of U.S.-
     as governance and economic and social-de-                purchased ANDSF fuel, equipment, and
     velopment programs, are at risk. Security                uniforms is ineffective.
     thus remains the most crucial high-risk area          • The ANDSF continue to operate in some
     for Afghanistan.                                         shoddily constructed and unsafe buildings.

     WHAT SIGAR FOUND                                     WHAT HAS CHANGED SINCE THE
                                                          2017 HIGH-RISK LIST
     Since the last High-Risk List in January 2017,
     SIGAR has published 32 oversight products            Over the past two years, the United States
     on Afghanistan’s security institutions and           has increased its investment in securing
     nine updates on Afghan security in its quar-         Afghanistan. Of the $83.1 billion appropri-
     terly reports to Congress. Of those, SIGAR’s         ated for security reconstruction funding as of
     most comprehensive effort is Reconstructing          December 31, 2018, $77.8 billion was appro-
     the Afghan National Defense and Security             priated for the Afghan Security Forces Fund
     Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in          (ASFF), which pays for most of the ANDSF’s
     Afghanistan (“Reconstructing the ANDSF”).            sustainment, equipment, training, and infra-
        Reconstructing the ANDSF, published in            structure costs.34 Congress has increased annual
     2017, presents several key findings, including       appropriations for ASFF from $3.9 billion at
     that the U.S. government was not properly pre-       the beginning of the RS mission in 2015 to
     pared from the outset to help build an Afghan        $4.9 billion in 2019. Additionally, NATO allies
     army and police force capable of protecting          recently reaffirmed their commitment to the RS
12   Afghanistan from internal and external threats       mission and Afghanistan’s long-term security
     and preventing the country from becoming a           and stability. At the July 2018 NATO Summit in

                                          WIDESPREAD INSECURITY
Brussels, NATO allies again agreed to extend         readiness and may continue to do so in the
their financial sustainment of the ANDSF             future, including:
through 2024.35 It is unclear, however, whether
any significant adjustment to the U.S. force pos-    Force Manning: Recruiting,
ture in Afghanistan before then would impact         Retention, and Attrition
these commitments.                                   As of October 30, 2018, the ANDSF’s assigned
   Since August 2017, the Trump administration       (actual) force strength was 308,693 personnel
has been implementing its South Asia strategy,       (not including civilians), including 190,753 in
which has two main security-related goals:           the Afghan National Army (ANA) and AAF,
(1) the United States will use military force to     and 117,940 in the Afghan National Police
support a durable and inclusive political settle-    (ANP).39 The latest strength figure shows that
ment to the Afghan conflict; and (2) U.S. and        the ANDSF’s strength has decreased by 9,016
NATO allies will continue to train, advise, and      personnel since the January 2017 High-Risk
assist the ANDSF to increase its capabilities        List (data as of August 2016).40 The ANDSF
in order to better plan and execute effective        was at 87.7% of its authorized (goal) strength in
operations to expand population security and         October 2018, down from 90.3% since the 2017
government influence.36                              High-Risk List (data as of August 2016). The
   To achieve these goals, the Administration        latest strength figures show that the ANA is
authorized an increase in the number of U.S.         36,621 personnel below its authorized strength
forces in country, an expansion of the oper-         of 227,374, and the ANP is 6,686 personnel
ational authorities for these forces, and a          below its authorized strength of 124,626.41
commitment to a conditions-based, rather than           Decreased personnel strength is a result of
time-based, approach for achieving U.S. goals in     attrition outpacing recruitment. In December
Afghanistan. By the end of 2018, the Department      2018, DOD identified problems arising from
of Defense (DOD) said the expansion of the U.S.      recent issues with recruiting shortfalls and
force presence and authorities, and the related      retaining conventional ANA forces. These
expansion of ANDSF capabilities, had pressured       included decreased force strength, under-
the Taliban to begin negotiating, but “the inten-    manned basic-training courses and delays in
sity of the fighting and level of bloodshed on       course start dates, and a reduced pipeline of
both sides has risen as both sides vie for lever-    trained personnel joining their units. DOD
age at the negotiating table.”37                     expects RS advisors and the MOD to use the
    As of December 2018, roughly 14,000 U.S. mil-    Afghan Personnel Pay System (see p. 14) to
itary personnel were serving in Afghanistan, 8,475   gain better insight into attrition metrics to track
of whom were in the RS train, advise, and assist     and project future losses more accurately. DOD
mission to build a more capable ANDSF. This is       reported that the number of personnel dropped
an increase of approximately 5,000 personnel         from the rolls significantly impacts ANA attri-
from the number of U.S. military personnel autho-    tion. Personnel dropped from the rolls are
rized to operate in Afghanistan late in the Obama    soldiers and police who leave the force prior to
administration in December 2016.38                   the end of their contracts, for example deserting
                                                     or being absent without leave (AWOL) for over
Critical Capability Gaps                             one month.42
                                                        Casualties (those injured or killed in action)
According to DOD, RS, and U.S. Forces-               also contribute to ANDSF attrition rates. On
Afghanistan (USFOR-A), the ANDSF currently           January 24, 2019, Afghan President Ashraf
face critical capability gaps in key areas           Ghani said that about 45,000 Afghan security          13
that hinder the force’s effectiveness and            personnel have been killed since he became

     president in September 2014. That number indi-       ANP commanders had been reporting nonex-
     cates that in those roughly 53 months, around        istent (or “ghost”) soldiers and police on their
     849 Afghan security personnel have been killed       rolls so they could steal the unclaimed salaries.
     per month on average.43 RS told SIGAR in             APPS aims to mitigate this problem by physi-
     October 2018 that, “From the period of May 1 to      cally accounting for personnel using biometric
     the most current data as of October 1, 2018, the     enrollment and issuing pay only to those per-
     average number of casualties the ANDSF has           sonnel enrolled in the system.47 According to
     suffered is the greatest it has ever been in like    USFOR-A, as of December 2018, the APPS sys-
     periods.”44                                          tem has been delivered to and is fully capable
        Without sufficient personnel, the ANDSF are       for use by both the ANA and the ANP, but only
     less able to provide security to the Afghan pop-     84% of ANA personnel (including civilians) and
     ulation, are increasingly vulnerable to enemy        60% of ANP personnel were enrolled into the
     attacks, and are at risk of incurring higher casu-   system, matched to authorized positions, and
     alties. High ANDSF casualty and AWOL rates           met the minimum data-input requirements to
     contribute to high attrition, which erode the        be paid. Both forces’ enrollment rates in APPS
     force’s capability gains and create a continual      have been steadily, albeit slowly, improving.48
     need to recruit and train new security-force         Coalition advisors estimate that it will take six
     members. These issues make the force less            more months for the ANA and another year for
     sustainable in the long term and less capable of     the ANP to fully transition to APPS for force
     conducting its mission successfully.                 strength reporting.49

     Personnel Accountability                             Logistics and Maintenance
     and Pay Systems                                      The MOD and MOI face key logistics and
     The ANDSF also struggles to pay and account          maintenance challenges, including the imple-
     for its personnel, a current risk to the ANDSF’s     mentation and maintenance of their electronic
     readiness and performance that could also be a       equipment-inventory and repair-status system,
     future risk should the ANDSF fail to adequately      Core Inventory Management System (CoreIMS).
     address these challenges. Since the beginning        According to DOD in December 2018, MOD
     of the RS mission in January 2015, U.S. and          and MOI logisticians require persistent RS advi-
     Coalition personnel had scant presence at the        sor attention, and their problems conducting
     lower tactical levels of the ANDSF, forcing the      national logistics planning remain “a vulner-
     mission to rely on unverifiable Afghan person-       ability to the mission.” The 2018 deployment
     nel reporting.45 Over the past two years, RS         of the 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade,
     advisors have worked to reduce their reliance        which advised the ANDSF at the tactical level,
     on manual Afghan personnel reporting by              provided greater insights into the force’s main-
     implementing the Afghan Personnel and Pay            tenance and logistics issues.50
     System (APPS), in which ANDSF personnel are             The ANDSF are also not yet capable of
     biometrically enrolled and through which their       independently maintaining their U.S.-provided
     salaries are paid. This system was developed to      vehicles and other equipment. Since December
     streamline personnel accountability and payroll      2017, ANDSF vehicle maintenance has been
     into one centralized, electronic database.46         streamlined into one National Maintenance
        APPS also has the important function of           Strategy contract, which stipulates that con-
     reducing corruption in the ANDSF’s pay sys-          tractors are responsible for maintaining the
     tem that was hindering the force’s readiness         majority of ANDSF vehicles while they train
14   and performance. In January 2017, RS publicly        the ANA and ANP to perform vehicle mainte-
     acknowledged that certain corrupt ANA and            nance. The aim is to eventually transition full

                                           WIDESPREAD INSECURITY
vehicle-maintenance responsibility to the ANA         trainer support. The KMTC’s conditions had
and ANP, but they remain years away from              reportedly deteriorated to the point where
achieving that capability. While the ANA and          trainees were malnourished and arriving at
ANP increased their share of vehicle-mainte-          their units in poor health, and not trained to
nance responsibility in 2018, as of November,         standard. In September 2018 the commander
the ANA was responsible for 51.1% of vehicle          of the KMTC was replaced, and RS advisors are
maintenance and the ANP only 15.9%.51 Because         working to improve the efficiency and quality
the United States has provided an enormous            of the training at KMTC, and exploring ways to
amount of equipment to the ANDSF, a key ques-         increasingly use RMTCs.53
tion is whether there is a corresponding need            The ANDSF’s deficiencies in each of the
for a long-term U.S. commitment to sustain            above areas are exacerbated by the high oper-
that equipment. This is a particular concern for      ational tempo prompted by an active insurgent
sophisticated equipment newer to the ANDSF            threat. The lack of capacity in some of these
inventory, such as UH-60 helicopters.                 areas (especially training and logistics) indicate
                                                      that core ANDSF capabilities could erode or fail
Institutional Training                                to improve in the absence of persistent Coalition
DOD reported in December 2018 that institu-           advisory efforts, with or without a ceasefire or
tional and professional training for ANDSF            sustained peace settlement with the Taliban.
personnel, coordinated at the national and
regional levels (i.e., above corps or zone levels),   Persistent Threat from Islamic State
are at a relatively nascent phase. The MOD
recently established the Unified Training and         Although U.S. officials have consistently asserted
Education Command (UTEDC) to serve as a               that Islamic State-Khorasan (IS-K), the Islamic
national training headquarters with command           State affiliate in Afghanistan, has been degraded
and control over the entire ANA training and          on multiple fronts, the group poses a greater
education system. That system includes the            security threat to the Afghan people and security
Kabul Military Training Center (KMTC), 12             forces than it did in 2016.54 Since the 2017 High-
ANA branch schools, and the Regional Military         Risk List, IS-K has gone from being concentrated
Training Centers (RMTCs). As in other areas,          in a few districts in Nangarhar Province in eastern
MOI institutional training lags far behind the        Afghanistan to having a limited presence in two
MOD. DOD reports that despite RS advisory             other provinces—Kunar and Jowzjan.55
efforts, strong training institutions have not           The Trump administration’s decision in
emerged. The UTEDC has no counterpart                 2017 to continue the U.S. counterterrorism
in the MOI. The following High-Risk List              mission to pursue terrorist organizations in
section on civil policing contains more infor-        Afghanistan—distinct from its participation in
mation about ANP training deficiencies and            the RS train, advise, and assist mission—gives
corresponding risks.52                                the ANDSF an obvious advantage in confronting
   While the UTEDC is a sign of progress for          IS-K and has had important consequences for
the MOD, the KMTC, ANA’s branch schools, and          Afghan security. The United States currently
RMTCs continue to experience problems. For            conducts air strikes and ground raids against
example, the KMTC drew scrutiny in the sec-           IS-K and other terrorist organizations active
ond half of 2018 after recruitment issues forced      in Afghanistan, sometimes unilaterally, and
the facility to delay training courses because        sometimes in coordination with Afghan Special
there were not enough students to fill them. RS       Security Forces (ASSF), the AAF, and the
advisors also received reports of unsatisfactory      National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s       15
training, poor living conditions, and inadequate      intelligence service.56


     SIGAR auditors interview ANA soldiers in the 207th corps. (SIGAR photo)

        Following several battles between IS-K and                 Given that IS-K has not yet been defeated,
     the Taliban, some progress was made against                even under considerable U.S. and Afghan mil-
     IS-K’s expansion in the north when what the UN             itary pressure, it is unlikely that the ANDSF
     Secretary-General described as a “large group”             could curtail or eliminate IS-K on its own
     of fighters claiming affiliation with IS-K surren-         without military, financial, and intelligence
     dered to the Afghan government in Jowzjan                  assistance from the United States and other
     Province on August 1, 2018.57 Then on August               donor nations. IS-K is not a party to the current
     25, U.S. forces conducted an air strike against            peace talks and continues to pose a threat to
     IS-K in Nangarhar Province that killed their               the United States, the Afghan government, and
     leader, Abu Saad Orakzai, to further disrupt               the Taliban even if a peace settlement should
     IS-K’s command-and-control and attack-plan-                be reached.
     ning capabilities. Yet, IS-K remains able to
     carry out mass-casualty attacks on major                   Stalemated Control of Districts,
     population centers. The number and lethality               Population, and Territory
     of IS-K attacks in Afghanistan increased since
     the last High-Risk List. According to the UN,              The stalemated battlefield situation between
     in 2017, there were 100 attacks claimed by                 the ANDSF and the Taliban is another risk, as
     or attributed to IS-K that caused 399 civilian             the intensity of fighting has increased and both
     deaths, and in 2018, there were 138 attacks                sides have incurred more casualties as they
     resulting in 681 civilian deaths (a 71% increase           seek greater leverage at the negotiating table.59
16   in civilian deaths).58                                     If negotiators fail to secure a peace agreement,
                                                                the ANDSF will be hard pressed to increase

                                          WIDESPREAD INSECURITY
its control over the population, districts,          stalemate. Alternately, they cannot believe they
and territory.                                       will attain their goals with continued fighting.”64
    The one major unclassified metric RS has
provided SIGAR to track the status of the bat-
tlefield environment—Afghan government and           QUESTIONS FOR POLICYMAKERS
insurgent control of districts, population, and
territory—shows that the ANDSF has not sub-          • What would the American contribution to
stantially increased its control of the country        any ongoing train, advise, and assist effort
since the January 2017 High-Risk List. From            for the ANDSF be in a post-peace deal
November 2016 through October 2018, Afghan             environment when the active insurgent
government control and influence over its dis-         threat to the ANDSF might be reduced or
tricts ranged between 54–60%. Over the same            significantly diminished?
period, the Afghan government controlled or          • If the United States were to drastically
influenced between 64–66% of the population.60         decrease its train, advise, and assist mission,
In 2018, the ANDSF, with American air sup-             how might DOD continue to ensure the
port, repelled two large-scale Taliban assaults        ANDSF is capable of defending Afghanistan
on population centers, one in Farah City in            and ensure U.S. national security interests in
May and another in Ghazni City in August. The          the region are protected?
Taliban also attempted to seize provincial capi-     • In a possible post-peace deal environment,
tals eight times in 2016.61                            if the United States had a reduced role
    DOD’s position on control metrics has shifted      in training, advising, and assisting the
since 2017. DOD’s stated goal in November 2017         ANDSF and/or providing less financial and
was for the Afghan government to control or            military support to it, what would be the
influence 80% of the population by the end of          risks to the gains made in key areas, such
2019.62 However, in January 2019, DOD and RS           as the expansion and improvement of the
told SIGAR that control data is no longer used         Afghan Air Force and the Afghan Special
as an indicator of the success of the South Asia       Security Forces?
strategy. DOD emphasized that varying control        • Are the various ANDSF components
data may reflect “uncertainty in the models that       properly trained and equipped to function
produce them” and that “the assessments that           in peacekeeping and other roles required
underlie them are to a degree subjective.”63           in a post-reconciliation environment? What
    DOD also said that following the September         type of future investment, financial and
2018 appointment of Zalmay Khalilzad as                otherwise, would the United States need
U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan            to make to ensure the ANDSF components
Reconciliation, the indicator for success of the       function in these various capacities?
South Asia strategy became prioritizing U.S.         • In a possible post-settlement environment,
and Afghan forces’ support of Ambassador               how would former Taliban fighters be
Khalilzad’s diplomatic effort rather than increas-     integrated into the ANDSF?
ing military pressure to expand the ANDSF’s          • Are U.S.-funded materiel (such as
control over the Afghan population to compel           vehicles and aircraft) and computer-based
the Taliban to the negotiation table. RS stated        technology programs independently
that the stalemate observed in the control data        sustainable by the ANDSF? If not, what is
over the course of at least a year supports diplo-     the plan to address this and what are the
matic efforts between the parties to the conflict:     projected dates for when the ANDSF will be
“One necessary condition is the perception             capable of sustaining them?                         17
by both sides that the conflict is in a military
Afghan National Police personnel stand in formation for a graduation ceremony in Kandahar. (ISAF photo)

                                                        HIGH-RISK AREA 2

                                             UNDERDEVELOPED CIVIL
                                               POLICING CAPABILITY

With the possibility of a peace settlement           The NATO Trust Fund at $40 million and the
coming into view, there is no comprehensive          UN-administered Law and Order Trust Fund for
strategy for how the United States and Coalition     Afghanistan (LOTFA) at $370 million will con-
partners will expand and sustain their nation-       tribute the rest.69
wide police advising mission to support Afghan          Unlike the ANA, a significant share of ANP
rule of law and civil policing.65 Throughout the     personnel costs are paid through LOTFA, to
reconstruction effort, the United States has         which the United States has historically been
placed more emphasis on reconstructing the           the largest contributor, although not in FY 2018.
Afghan National Army (ANA) than the Afghan           The LOTFA mechanism relieves some financial
National Police (ANP). For years, the ANP were       pressure on the United States by spreading
used to provide paramilitary support to ANA          the funding burden of ANP personnel costs to
counterinsurgency operations rather than per-        the Coalition.70
forming core police functions.66
   Following a political settlement, Afghan
police, rather than the army, are likely to be the   WHAT SIGAR FOUND
element responsible for everyday security provi-
sion and will serve as a direct link to the Afghan   SIGAR’s 2017 lessons learned report,
government in local communities. The under-          Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense
developed civil policing capabilities of the ANP     and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S.
thus present a risk to the long-term stability of    Experience in Afghanistan, found that police
the Afghan government.67                             development was treated as a secondary
   A substantial monetary investment is also         mission for the U.S. government, despite the
at risk. As of December 31, 2018, the United         critical role that the ANP was intended to play
States had obligated $21.3 billion and disbursed     in implementing rule of law and providing
$21.0 billion from the Afghanistan Security          static, local-level security nationwide. The U.S.
Forces Fund (ASFF) to build, train, equip, and       military aligned its military-to-military engage-
sustain the ANP. The total cost for ANP sustain-     ments with the ANA, but there was no similar
ment in fiscal year (FY) 2019 is approximately
$1.1 billion. Of this, the United States will
contribute roughly $500 million. The Afghan             Since the 2017 High-Risk List, SIGAR has published
government will pay roughly $207 million,               eight oversight products on the ANP and nine
which is approximately 19% of the necessary             quarterly updates on Afghan policing in its quarterly
yearly ANP sustainment funds, and an expen-
                                                        reports to Congress.
diture equivalent to 8% of Afghan government                                                                    19
revenues collected in FY 2018 ($2.5 billion).68


     Afghan National Police officers march in a drill outside the Ministry of Interior in Kabul.
     (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade)

     symmetry between U.S. civilian law enforce-                    development mission in Afghanistan. SIGAR
     ment entities and the ANP.71                                   found that the U.S. did not optimize this
        SIGAR also found that the United States                     Coalition security sector assistance in relation
     lacks an institutionalized capability to develop               to international political constraints. While
     foreign police forces in a high-threat environ-                some Coalition partners may have had a better
     ment. Police advising is not a core competency                 capability to develop police forces, the coun-
     of the U.S. military and therefore DOD does not                tries involved either did not have the capacity to
     have the required authorities, funding and per-                assume all mission requirements in Afghanistan,
     sonnel to manage the police advising mission                   had national caveats that prevented them from
     in Afghanistan. By law, the State Department is                engaging in critical police training for the mis-
     the lead agency responsible for foreign police                 sion, or the U.S.-led Coalition did not provide
     development, but is not able to operate freely                 these countries with senior-level positions in
     in a war zone. The Department of Justice has                   the NATO-led training mission to maximize
     a program to train foreign police forces—the                   their impact. NATO itself does not have a police
     International Criminal Investigative Training                  advising capability, although efforts are under-
     Assistance Program (ICITAP). However,                          way to create a capability to deploy professional
     ICITAP has no independent funding or opera-                    police advisors in future NATO operations. The
     tional authority and must fully rely on State or               concept is pending review and approval.73
     DOD funding.72                                                    Other SIGAR products since January 2017
20      The United States has sometimes turned                      have reported the following findings related to
     to Coalition partners to carry out its police                  Afghanistan’s policing institutions:74
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