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Testing time for ANSF as they take up challenge of lead

Testing time for ANSF as they take up challenge of lead

May 23, 2013 - 10:50

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): As the Afghan security forces takes up the challenging task of leading the national security, it is a testing time for ANSFinfo-icon, a top Pentagon official told lawmakers, adding that so far the returns are very good.

“There are areas of success and areas of failure,” David Sedney, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistaninfo-icon, Pakistaninfo-icon, and Central Asia, said during a Congressional hearing.

Responding to questions, Sedney said the US is looking for additional funding for ANSF so as to increase their capabilities.

 “On the funding for the Afghan security forces, .. we are looking to provide additional enablers for the Afghan security forces beyond those that we thought we would need last year, trying to get such things as helicopters, artillery in place more quickly, and to give the Afghans the ability to operate independently,” he said.

Sedney said continuation of safe havens in Pakistan pose a challenge to Afghanistan and it would be a tough task for ANSF to maintain law and order during the next year’s elections due to this.

“The Pakistan safe havens exist now.  My comments about the success that the Afghan security forces are having now in holding their own includes operations that build upon the layered security along the    border, that layered security design that ISAFinfo-icon put in place, with the Afghans now moving into the lead in that as well.  But it is nevertheless a challenge,” he said.  

“The insurgents get to go back into Pakistan for resting, refitting, planning, re-arming, all that.  It will be a challenge for the Afghan security forces to maintain security this year and during the elections with those safe havens there,” the Pentagon official said. 

“They will learn a lot this year about how well they're able to do that, and how well they're able to do that with less support from us as our forces continue to -- and ISAF forces continue to reduce,” he said.

David Pearce, Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, said corruption is a major challenge to Afghanistan. “The government is committed to reducing corruption and increasing transparency and accountability and building judicial capacity and rule of law.  But of course there's a lot to do.  They pledged to fight it at Bonn.  They reaffirmed it last July in Tokyo.  And of course this is one of the fundamental things that the international community is going to be looking at very closely going forward,” he said in response to a question.


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