Statement to Parliament: Afghanistan progress report: March 2013

#1
Ministry of Defence said:
The Foreign Secretary said:
I wish to inform the House that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, together with the Ministry of Defence and the Department for International Development, is today publishing the twenty sixth progress report on developments in Afghanistan since November 2010.
Foreign Office Senior Minister of State Baroness Warsi made her second visit to Afghanistan on 4 -6 March. Key themes of the visit were emphasising the UK’s enduring commitment to Afghanistan and protecting the gains in human rights, particularly women’s rights, Afghanistan has seen since the fall of the Taleban.
In a speech on 4 March the International Development Secretary pledged to step up UK support for women and girls in the world’s poorest countries. This pledge included a commitment to making tackling violence against women and girls in Afghanistan a priority in the next DFID country plan.
The Afghan Special Case Tribunal announced its verdict on the Kabul Bank fraud trial on 5 March. The former Chief Executive and Chairman of the Kabul Bank, were each convicted of breach of trust and sentenced to five years in prison. In addition, the individuals received fines equivalent to the value of the assets they are deemed to have stolen from the bank. Other defendants were given shorter prison sentences. The Afghan Attorney General has lodged an appeal against the entirety of the verdict seeking stronger sentences.
On 6 March the Prime Minister hosted an Investors Forum with the Afghan Minister of Mines at Number 10 Downing Street. The event provided an opportunity to demonstrate Afghanistan’s natural resource potential. At the Forum the Prime Minister and International Development Secretary announced a new DFID programme of £10 million over the next three years, which will support the Ministry’s work to negotiate, grant, manage and monitor contracts, appoint experts to key posts and develop the mineral and hydrocarbon sector.
The UK continues to support an Afghan-led peace and reconciliation process. Now is the time for all Afghans to sit down together to help shape a peaceful and prosperous future for their country. This process must be inclusive. The Taliban have an opportunity to engage in dialogue about Afghanistan’s future by opening an office in Doha.
The Afghan National Security Forces are progressing well. 21 out of 26 Brigades are now operating either independently, or with ISAF only in an advisory role. ISAF forces continue work to build and train the key military enabling capabilities that the ANSF need to operate. By way of example, the Afghan Air Force achieved a major milestone in their Combined Strategic Flight Plan, with the first combined training exercise including multiple aircraft and supporting capabilities.
I am placing the report in the Library of the House.
[h=3]Further information[/h]Read the Afghanistan progress report for March
Take a look at previous reports on Afghanistan
Read more about the UK’s work establishing stability in Afghanistan



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#2
Key themes of the visit were emphasising the UK’s enduring commitment to Afghanistan and protecting the gains in human rights, particularly women’s rights, Afghanistan has seen since the fall of the Taleban.
Yes, it's just like Islington now and it will continue to improve year by year until it's like Scandinavia only with more AKs.
 
#3
The Afghan National Security Forces are progressing well. 21 out of 26 Brigades are now operating either independently, or with ISAF only in an advisory role. ISAF forces continue work to build and train the key military enabling capabilities that the ANSF need to operate. By way of example, the Afghan Air Force achieved a major milestone in their Combined Strategic Flight Plan, with the first combined training exercise including multiple aircraft and supporting capabilities.

I was going to try and make a witty comment about this bit but I suspect the whole shebang will collapse like a house of cards in a strong wind once NATO pull out.

Those who have the cash will bugger of out of the place leaving everyone else to fend for themselves. Most of the kit will be flogged off to the Taliban and the ANA barracks and defense posts will be littered with discarded uniforms while thousands of "ex-ANA" will declare that they really supported Terry T all the time...

Rodney2q
 
#4
For heavens sakes, even "Stars And Stripes" has a more realistic view than that uttered in the House. Last week they ran a full page article with Kabulis, all of whom are shiters and all of whom have been shipping wealth, family and just about every movable asset out of Afghanistan. My former 'terps, with whom I keep in touch, are really, really, concerned as to their futures. Notwithstanding the difficulty of movement, I half expect to open the garden shed when I get home and to be greeted with a chorus of "salaam" from within. My confident presdiction is that it will all get very messy, very quickly: the only question in my mind is will the Taliban let the IC get the hell out of Dodge before they really go for it?
 
#5
What presence will be left after the major pull out?

I suppose its a double edged sword:
- leave the ASF high and dry and they could collapse
- continue to have major contribution and you dealing with casualties and public opinion
- just do the mentoring and you have force protection issues

I firmly believe ISAF should continue to contribute in a meaningful way in the medium term:
- training & education of the ASF
- mentoring at brigade HQ level and higher
- ISTAR and SF ops
- CSS ops maybe (also supporting CIMIC)
- a surge capability to support the ASF (maybe 3/4 brigades able to engage if the ASF needs help)



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