Opinion

Four steps to success in Afghanistan

Now that the United States has committed itself to Afghanistan for another 10 years, the most important policy Washington could adopt in Afghanistan is one that helps the Afghans effectively govern their country on their own. To have any hope for success, the US and Afghanistan must accomplish these four goals.

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2. US must transfer responsibilities to Afghan security forces only when they’re ready

The US must reform how it develops, trains, and equips the Afghan security forces – especially the Afghan police. The United States should adopt a system through which it develops Afghan units according to a natural timeline – their organic growth, rather than along arbitrary time standards imposed by the US. Units should only be declared “ready” to replace NATO mentors when they have displayed a consistent ability to independently operate and equip themselves without coalition supervision – and not before then.

Adopting this standard will ensure America leaves Afghanistan with security forces that are actually capable of replacing American units and maintaining that role long after the last American soldier leaves Afghanistan. 

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