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Afghan Territorial Army (ATA)

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Editorial Note: The Afghan National Army - Territorial Force (ANA-TF) was initially referred to as the 'Territorial Army' - the Persian name for what is now known as the ANA-TF. For more info, see the linke below:

Afghan National Army  - Territorial Force (ANA-TF)

The government of Afghanistan is establishing an organization called the Afghan Territorial Army (ATA) to provide a 'hold' capability to the Afghan security forces. The ATA will be a community level security organization that operations at the local level to provide security.

This militia type organization resembles the Afghan Local Police (ALP); however, it falls under the control of the Ministry of Defense (MoD). An initial formation would be approximately 1,000 strong and formed up in southern Nangarhar province - a hotbed of activity to the Islamic State - Khorasan Province (IS-KP). Eventually the Afghan Territorial Army could be 36,000 strong.


According to some press reports (April 2018) over 5,000 personnel have been recruited for the ATA in Herat, Kandahar, Laghman, and Kapisa provinces. The members of the ATA are recruited from within the respective provinces.

The ATA personnel will wear the Afghan National Army (ANA) uniform They will receive up to 70 percent of an ANA soldier's salary and be between 20 and 40 years old. Some members of the ATA will likely be former soliders of the ANA but the units will be led by active commanders in the military.

News Reports about ATA

January 15, 2019. "The Afghan Territorial Force: Learning from the lessons of the past?", Afghanistan Analysts Network.

April 2018. "Dilemmas around using militias to fight the Taliban",  Magazine of International Civil Servants.





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