Campbell all praise for Afghan forces
WASHINGTON (Pajhwok): A top American general, nominated by President Obama to head US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, has reposed his full confidence in the strength and capabilities of Afghan national security forces.
“As we transition to resolute support mission and draw down our forces, there will be many challenges, but I have confidence in the strength of the Afghan forces,” Gen. John F Campbell said in his confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Despite significant casualties during the 2013 and 2014 fighting season, the Afghan forces had succeeded in securing the recent election, he said, hoping they would remain firm to the upcoming transfer of power.
Responding to a question from Senator Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Campbell said the Afghan forces continued to progress in all of their capabilities, as evidenced by the recent election where actually, the coalition forces provided very little support.
“It brought a sense of pride to them to be able to do this, and I think they continue to progress every single day. So far as the new plan will show, we'll move off of the tactical train, advise and assist and move up to the corps level. And I think that shows that the campaign has been working. The difference when I left in 2011 to what I saw in just this past April was very, very significant,” he said.
In a written response earlier, Campbell said the ANSF had more than held their own against the insurgency, sustaining the gains made in the 2013 fighting season. The ANSF continued to demonstrate they were a competent and confident force, he added.
But he admitted gaps and developmental shortfalls existed within the Afghan security institution, capability gaps in ANSF aviation, intelligence and special operations, along with developmental shortfalls in systems maintenance, requirement forecasting and human capital.
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