Afghan Border Police (ABP)
Books on Afghanistan
The Afghan Border Police (ABP) is responsible for the protection of Afghanistan's border. The ABP is the first line of defence along the border and at border crossings. Afghanistan has over 3,400 miles of international border - most of it vast desert or high mountains. The ABP was part of the Afghan National Police (ANP) and came under the control of the Ministry of Interior (MoI). 1. In late December 2017 the government of Afghanistan announced that the ABP would come under the Ministry of Defense.
The Afghan Border Police have a difficult mission - especially along the 1,500 mile Pakistan border which is home to bandits, various tribes, smugglers, and . . . of course . . . the insurgents. The insurgents can move back and forth across the border at will - moving men, supplies, weapons, explosives, money, and equipment from Pakistan into Afghanistan. In addition, insurgents move across into Pakistan to escape coalition military operations along the border and to rest and refit in their sanctuary camps.
Personnel Strength. The Afghan Border Police numbers approximately 14,000 personnel.
Uniforms of ABP. Some ABP wear tan and white camouflage jackets. In the fall of 2011 the ABP were provided with uniforms with a distinctive camouflage pattern. 2.
Training. The members of the ABP undergo an 8-week training program. In the past, the training has been overseen by the State Department with DynCorp doing the actual training. Other organizations have been involved in the ABP training to include U.S. federal government employees, civilian contractors, the European Union Police Mission (EUPOL), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection officers.
Logistics. The ABP is fully funded for equipment and supplies but corruption within the Ministry of Interior and at the regional logistic hubs present problems for the units in the field stationed along the Afghan borders. 4.
Effectiveness of the Afghan Border Police. The ABP has not seen great success thus far. The border is porous and difficult to control. Add to that the unprofessionalism of the members of the Afghan Border Police, poor equipment, terrible leadership, drug trafficking, smugglers, and corruption . . . and you have a problematic border security force. Those ABP units that are effective usually have baggage associated with them. 3.
Drug Running and the ABP. In many areas of the country the Afghan Border Police are part of the problem and not the solution. Many ABP commanders are complicit in the drug smuggling trade. 5.
Border Crossing Facilities. Lots of money has been spent on facilities and and equipment for the Afghan border crossings. Almost all of it has been paid for with U.S. dollars. So the hard structures and facilities are there (for the most part 6.) to have effective border crossing points. What is lacking is professionalism in the ABP and officials who are not corrupt.
Various Terrain along Afghan Border. The border of Afghanistan is long and continuous as it is a land-locked country. Some of the the border is vast, open desert while other parts are mountainous terrain 7. - as in that area near Torkham Gate in Nangarhar province along the eastern border facing Pakistan. This difficult terrain makes it difficult to monitor illegal border crossings of Taliban and smugglers.
Afghan Border Police. By Wikipedia. Provides info on organization, references, and external links about the ABP. Access here.
DoD Inspector General's Office, Assessment of
U.S. Government and Coalition Efforst to Develop the Afghan Border Police,
Report No. DoDIG-2013-081, May 24, 2013. The assessment determines whether
the planning and execution of the efforts by ISAF to recruit, train,
advise and assist the ABP were effective.
SIGAR, Construction Deficiencies at Afghan
Border Police Bases Put $19 Million Investment at Risk, Office of the
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, July 30, 2012.
EUPOL, Police-Prosecutor Cooperation Manual.
Published by European Union Police Mission (EUPOL Afghanistan), dated 8
July 2012. The 400-page training manual can be accessed at the EUPOL
website at the link below.
Videos about the Afghan Border Police (ABP) located on the Defense Video & Imagery Distriction System (DVIDS). See listing of ABP videos here.
March 25, 2012. "Afghan Border Police Establish Presence, Strengthen Security in Khan Neshin". DVIDS.
March 12, 2015. "Border Corruption Costs Afghanistan a Quarter of its Budget". War is Boring Blog. Kabul loses cash to crooked officials and American taxpayers make up the loss.
January 9, 2015. "TAAC-E troops advise Afghans on Pakistan military border coordination". RS News. A high-level VIP meeting took place at the Torkham Gate border area with the Khyber Border Coordination Center (KBCC).
November 11, 2014. "At Afghan Border, Graft is Part of the Bargain". New York Times.
August 1, 2014. "Brave Rifles advise border defense". DVIDS. SFAAT 9, 1st Squadron "Tiger", 3rd Cavalry Regiment is advising the ABP in Paktiya province.
September 5, 2013. "Clearing the road ahead: Afghan Border Police train with handheld metal detectors". DVIDS. The ABP learn C-IED measures and the Vallon metal detector.
May 29, 2013. "Cultivating coordination on the Afghan-Pakistan border". Stars and Stripes. FOB Torkham hosts two Joint Border Coordination Centers.
May 10, 2013. "Advisors face reality checks along Afghan border". Stars and Stripes. Advisor team at Torkham Gate faces challenges with Afghan Border Police (ABP).
April 24, 2013. "Afghans guard the pass". DVIDS. Article on Torkham Gate ABP.
February 7, 2013. "Scouts conduct battlefield circulation at OPs". DVIDS. An SFAAT from 101st Abn Div based at FOB Joyce in Kunar observed OPs that are manned by the ABP.
December 20, 2012. "ABP seize more than 360 anti-personnel mines". Army.mil.
December 9, 2012. "Afghan Border Police conduct independent clearing operation in southern Helmand". DVIDS. Elements of the 6th Zone ABP operation in southern Helmand province.
November 26, 2012. "Afghan Border Police take lead in Operation Southern Strike IV". Army.mil.
November 2, 2012. "29 Afghan Border Police graduate from the Explosive Hazard Reduction Course". DVIDS. 5th Kandak, 3rd Zone ABP attend EHRC.
November 11, 2012. "Afghan Border Police welcome training, share best practices". NTM-A News Release. Story about 4th Kandak, 3rd Zone ABP receiving instruction on police evidence collection and handling from SFAT 11
October 25, 2012. "Deployed Marines mindful of insider attacks". BAT-1 advising ABP take security precautions while advising ABP. Marine Corps Times..
October 22, 2012. "Soldiers and Afghan Border Police build trust with local farmers". DVIDS. ABP in Spin Boldak work with local farmers.
October 10, 2012. "Power struggle challenges Afghan Border". Marine Corps Times.
October 9, 2012. "Afghan Border Police knock out insurgent activity with Southern Fist". Soldier of Fortune Magazine.
October 5, 2012. "A day with the Afghan Border Police". Marine Corps Times..
August 17, 2012. "Afghan General commends border police for repelling Taliban attack". Regional Command East News. 6th ABP Kandak in action.
July 25, 2012. "Mentoring Afghan Border Police". 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team provides advise to ABP as part of SFA mission. DVIDS.
July 17, 2012. "Afghan Border Police station open for 24-hour operations in Spin Boldak". Army.mil.
July 2012. "EUPOL assists the Afghan Border Police to build a "Rule of Law" police service". EUPOL Afghanistan.
May 27, 2012. "122 new officers join ABP after last class with international mentors". NTM-A Newsem.
May 26, 2012. "Afghan Border Police holds leadership conference". ISAF Confer. Conference held at 3rd Zone ABP.
May 2012. "Night training for the QRF of the Border Police". EUPOL Afghanistan News.
April 1, 2012. "Afghan Border Police establish presence, strengthen security in Khan Neshin". DVIDS.
February 29, 2012. "Afghan Border Police (ABP) Suffer From Corrupt Medical Officers Within the Ministry of Interior (MoI)". Afghan War News Blog.
February 14, 2012. "Afghan Border Polce take the lead to secure northern crossing". NATO News.
December 30, 2011. "Afghan Border Police finds homemade explosives, marks end to successful 2011". DVIDS. Third Afghan Border Quick Reaction Force at Spin Boldak.
December 24, 2011. "New NCOs Take Lead in Afghan Border Patrol". ISAF News Room..
December 8, 2011. "Pennsylvania native influences future of Afghan Border Police". DVIDS.
December 7, 2011. "A decade after Taliban's fall, Afghan Border Police forging ahead". DVIDS.
November 29, 2011. "Afghan border police compounds near completion".a Army.mil.
October 19, 2011. "A"Afghan Border Police Adopt Ghostex Pattern". Solider Systems.
September 2, 2011. "Afghan Border Police trains on gender equality and literacy". NTM-A News Release.
August 28, 2011. "Afghan Border Police Train on Literacy and Gender Equality". ISAF News.
June 10, 2011. "Kunar border police station opens, improves security". Army.mil.
April 6, 2011. "Training Afghan Border Police". On Patrol.
January 16, 2011. "Afghan National Border Police Receives Contraband Training in Afghanistan". Afghan War News Blog.
January 9, 2011. "Afghan Border Patrol (ABP) Get K-9 Dog Training". Afghan War News Blog.
October 26, 2010. "Coalition and Afghan Border Police Living on the Edge". DVIDS. ABP at the Wesh Border Crossing on Afghan-Pak border.
October 4, 2010. "Abdul Razziq - An Afghan Border Police Colonel Keeping Spin Boldak, Afghanistan Quiet - In a Corrupt Way". Afghan War News Blog.
March 5, 2009. "Afghan Border Police Make Progress, Slowly"..nnb NPR.
March 4, 2009. "Afghans Face Obstacles in Securing Pakistan Border". NPR.
May 23, 2008. "Afghan Border Police Learn Weapons-Repair Skills". American Forces Press Service.
December 4, 2007. "Afghan Border Police Improve Marksmanship Capabilities". American Forces Press Service.
July 26, 2007. "Afghan Border Police complete training in Herat". ISAF News.
1. See Establishing a Police Force for Afghanistan by the Institute for theStudy of War. Accessed here on the ISW website on December 29, 2011.
2. The uniforms of the Afghan Border Police will use the Ghostex pattern as their uniform camouflage. See "Afghan Border Police Adopt Ghostex Pattern", Soldier Systems, October 19, 2011. Accessed here on February 2012.
3. For an interesting article about the corruption of the Afghan Border Police see "The Master of Spin Boldak - Undercover with Afghanistan's drug-trafficking border police", Harpers Magazine, December 2009. An expose of Abdul Razik, a Kandahar strongman and chief of the Afghan Border Police in this section of Afghanistan. Accessed here on February 18, 2012.
4. For an example of how corruption hurts the ABP see an article about lack of medical supplies caused by corrupt MoI officials in Corruption, mismanagement handicap Afghan Police, Stars and Stripes, February 29, 2012. Accessed here February 2012.
5. For more on the ABP and drug smuggling see a story entitled "Afghanistan Drug Raid Snares Border Police Commander", Danger Room at Wired.com, September 3, 2009.
6. Some border crossing facilities may not be properly designed. See "Special IG raises concerns over Afghanistan-Pakistan border project", Stars and Stripes, October 10, 2013 available here.
7. For more on the mountainous terrain found at border crossing see this story entitled "A night on a the mountaintop", DVIDS, October 10, 2013.
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