Acquisition Program Management Challenges in Afghanistan. Part 2: Afghan Vendor Base
Defense Acquisition University Fort Belvoir United States
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In my previous article, I wrote about deployed program manager challenges with generating and managing requirements with Afghanistan National Security Forces ANSF and Coalition military counterparts. This article will discuss the challenges of procuring defense items made to those requirements from the Afghanistan vendor base in the midst of an active counterinsurgency campaign. First some background on Afghanistan and its vendor base An accurate census of the country is not available, but population estimates range from 25 to 30 million people, of which 35 percent to 40 percent are unemployed. Literacy in native languages of Dari and Pashtu, much less English, is one of the largest deficiencies. Literacy rates are only 8 percent to 10 percent in rural areas and 25 percent to 30 percent in urban areas. Vocational schools and universities are just starting to come back after 30 years of conflict with the Soviets and harsh Taliban rule.