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ANSF Metrics

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In some wars it is difficult to determine if you are winning or losing. In most conventional wars (World War II, Desert Storm, etc.) you measure your success with terrain gained or units that surrender. In wars like Vietnam or Afghanistan it is more difficult to measure success. In Vietnam the 'body count' was a measure of success - as in how many Viet Cong or NVA were killed vs. U.S. or ARVN casualties. In Afghanistan success was measured (in part) in how many valleys were 'cleared'. Over the last couple of years (2012 to present) success has been measured in how big the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in numbers of personnel and types of units. Lately, success is defined in capabilities - as in number of aircraft, quantity of D-30 122mm howitzers, personnel strength of the ANA, or females in the police. There is lots of talk about "capacity" and "capability". There are not a lot of metrics put out by ISAF (now Resolute Support) on how effective the ANSF is at conducting a counterinsurgency fight. Many organizations provide assessments about the ANSF and the conduct of the Afghan War.

News Reports on Afghan War Metrics

February 26, 2013. "Beans and Bullets: Pentagon report puts ANSF logistical and combat capabilities in doubt". By Gary Owen, Afghanistan Analysts Network. A review of the 1230 report for December 2012 by the author finds that the ANA " . . . is still facing several huge, fundamental problems: it cannot keep the soldiers it needs, trains the soldiers it does have, or adequately supply the soldiers it manages to train."

August 1, 2012. "Paint it Pink: The US redefining ANA success". By Gary Owen, Afghanistan Analyst Network. The author suggests that ISAF has changed its standards for defining ANA success so regularly that it has become practically impossible to measure the ANA accurately. Learn more on how ISAF spins 'success'.


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