Accession Number:

ADA539602

Title:

Soldiers and Builders: Engineering a More Self-Reliant Afghan National Army

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:

AIR COMMAND AND STAFF COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2009-04-01

Pagination or Media Count:

43.0

Abstract:

The purpose of this paper is to examine how a corps of engineers can improve the self sufficiency of the Afghan National Army ANA in counterinsurgency and reconstruction operations. In constituting the ANA, the United States and coalition forces have focused on combat units at the expense of other capabilities. Consequently, the ANA is not structurally prepared to independently prosecute a prolonged counterinsurgency campaign. The lack of engineering capabilities is particularly telling. Currently, the ANA engineer units suffer from deficiencies in force structure, training, equipment, and resources. This paper employs the problemsolution methodology. Research for this paper focuses on current deficiencies and ways to address them. The sources for the research range from Combined Security Transition Command -Afghanistan CSTC-A planning documents, interviews with military personnel who served in Afghanistan, new articles, books, and numerous other secondary sources. In formulating probable solutions, I draw on lessons learned from other nations, both ancient and recent, including the Roman Empire, The United States, China, and Pakistan. Properly structured, an expanded corps of engineers is a cost effective way to improve the self sufficiency of the Afghan National Army ANA along with its ability to conduct counterinsurgency and reconstruction operations. It is instrumental in building indigenous capacity, government legitimacy, and social capital. The ANA corps of engineers requires improvements in force structure, training, and personnel. To address these issues, the United States and NATO must allocate adequate resources to the CSTC-A. It is a mission we cannot allow to fail if we were to bring lasting stability to Afghanistan.

Subject Categories:

  • Sociology and Law
  • Civil Engineering
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE