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US lauds ANSF intelligence-gathering skills

US lauds ANSF intelligence-gathering skills

May 16, 2013 - 11:53

WASHINGTON (PANinfo-icon): Praising the intelligence-generating capabilities of Afghan forces, a top American general based in Kabulinfo-icon on Wednesday said the US could hardly replicate such a network.

Clubbed with its great local intelligence-gathering network and technological capabilities provided by the US, the general was confident Afghan security forces would be successful in containing the Talibaninfo-icon and insurgents post 2014.    

“They have a form of intelligence that we can never hope to replicate and which is playing a huge role right now in their human intelligence,” the commanding general of the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistaninfo-icon said.

 Maj. Gen. Tony Thomas told Pentagon reporters during a video conference from Kabul: “They live here. They know the locals … And they're able to provide us a form of intelligence and a quality of intelligence that … we pale in terms of what they're able to do just innately.”

Thomas said for all major operations, intelligence came from the Afghans. “It is noteworthy to acknowledge that almost all of the intelligence tips for these operations originated from Afghan-developed information.”

This past month, they were able to interdict a 3,000-kilogram truck bomb in the far-off western province of Farah, based on exceptional intelligence provided by the Afghan spy organisation, he added.

One of the more extraordinary phenomena over the last year had been the evolution of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) programme, he observed, explaining the force was designed to be temporary, with the purpose of providing time and space to constitute the uniformed Afghan army and police formations.

“The program has since gone viral, in a good way, based upon two key developments -- the first being that Afghan political and security officials have embraced it as the best form of local security for many of the more troubled districts.

“ALP are performing as good or better than the army or police in contact with the enemy on almost every occasion, which stands to reason. They have been specially selected and trained locally to defend their turf,” he said.

The second measure of the success of the program came from an unlikely source of endorsement, the enemy, he said, adding the Taliban had openly targeted the ALP as their most dire threat.

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