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The Afghan National Police, Mar 2009

March 1, 2009

The Afghan National Police, March 2009


By Tim Foxley


Although there are some relatively encouraging signs now, the starting point for the ANP was practically zero and it should perhaps not be a surprise that the state of the ANP remains woefully inadequate and is likely to remain so for the next half a decade at least.  The interventions and assistance of the international community will remain crucial for the ANP’s development (put bluntly, the ANP will not exist without the international community) but will continue to be fragmented and lacking in coherency. Whether the ongoing FDD process is the best way to develop the ANP has yet to be proven, but is already an academic issue – FDD is happening and there are no viable alternatives of the necessary scale required, certainly not from existing initiatives such as EUPOL. While police manning levels will continue to rise and meet the intended target, this is only one fairly simplistic measure of performance and capability. Other more important aspects – morale, honesty, impartiality, leadership – will be in shorter supply.  The trust of the people will not be regained easily and in large parts of the country, for the next few years they are still likely to be regarded as the problem rather than the solution.

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