Pentagon admits problems in sustaining Afghan forces
WASHINGTON (PAN): With its capabilities growing steadily, the Afghan military is taking greater leadership on missions and operations, a Pentagon official said on Friday, acknowledging the challenges being faced by Kabul in sustaining its security force.
Commenting on a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the Pentagon press secretary said they were aware of the concerns. There were problems and obstacles that cropped up occasionally, he added.
“But the US remained committed to its strategy. I think we've been very clear-eyed in our public statements about the fact that, while we're making progress, challenges remain," George Little told reporters during an off-camera news conference.
The SIGAR report said the government of Afghanistan continued to face challenges in sustaining its security forces. If not addressed, the challenged would pose a big problem after 2014, it warned.
According to the document, the Ministry of Defence has taken steps to develop the necessary capacity of Afghan forces, but the Ministry of Interior had neither recruited the necessary personnel nor implemented the systems required to develop a self-sustaining police force.
The Pentagon spokesman observed such reports were helpful in identifying some of the issues that the US continued to confront. “We certainly take their concerns on board. There will undoubtedly be problems developing these capabilities in the Afghan military. But, overall, we think the process is going very well."
In its report, the SIGAR said the interior ministry continued to rely on US and coalition funding and support, decreasing the likelihood that it would be able to sustain police facilities in the long run. As a result, US funds invested in the construction and maintenance of police facilities are at risk of being wasted.
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