Transition in Afghanistan



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Afghan War News > Topics > Transition in Afghanistan

The phrase 'transition in Afghanistan' means many things to many people.

Security Transition. To the military professional it means that the 'lead for security' is transferred from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). This essentially happened at the beginning of the 2013 fighting season where the ISAF units stood back in a supporting and advisory role and the ANSF did the brunt of the fighting. The transition actually began in early 2012 with the implementation of the Security Force Assistance model and inject of hundreds of advisor teams called SFAATs.

Political Transition. To many in the international community the presidential and provincial elections of April 2014 represents transition. It will signify the peaceful transfer of authority from one Afghan president (Hamid Karzai) to another.

Economic Transition. Economists and development experts will look at the Afghan economy for signs of transition from a 'war economy' that has billions of dollars spent on security forces and infrastructure to a 'peace economy' (in hopes that the insurgency goes away once ISAF departs). In addition, the Afghan economy has to struggle with the drastic curtailment of foreign aid that has accompanied the massive foreign troop presence over the past several years.

Potential Military Coup? There is concern among some observers that the current Afghan government is weak when compared to the Afghan National Security Forces - specifically the Afghan National Army. Many nations undergo a coup when a professional military comes to the conclusion that they can govern a nation better than the civilian administration. 1.

Post-2014 Transition. Some observers are keying in on the post-2014 era - a period of transition in all the areas mentioned about. This incorporates the Security Force Assistance mission which in post-2014 will be called Resolute Support (if the Bilateral Security Agreement is signed), the economic transition, the political landscape, and (of course) the Taliban and related peace talks.

Websites about Tranistion in Afghanistan

NATO in Afghanistan: Transition.

Papers and Publications about Transition in Afghanistan


Aziz, Khalid, Conditions for a Successful Tranistion in Afghanistan Post-2014, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS), DISS Report 2014:04.

Cordesman, Anthony H. Time is Running Out in Afghanistan: The April 5th Election is only the Prelude to Tranistion, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), April 2, 2014. . . april-5th-election-only-prelude-transition

Steele, Dennis. "2014: The Last Year of U.S. 'Combat Operations'", Army Magazine, January 2014, pages 31-35. . . . /armymagazine/ . . . Steele_January2014.pdf


Aziz, Khalid. Five Pillars of a Successful Transition in Afghanistan Post 2014, Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) Policy Brief, September 2013. . . . / . . . post-2014.pdf

Cordesman, Anthony H. The Uncertain Role of the ANSF in Tranistion: Establishing Real World Criteria and Metrics, Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS), February 27, 2013. . . . establishing-real-world-criteria-and-metrics

News Reports about Transition in Afghanistan

September 2, 2014. "Reassessing the International Role in Afghanistan During the NATO Summit". Center for American Progress.

August 10, 2014. "The Foreign Policy Essay: Afghan Lessons Learned". Lawfare. The author, Bruce Riedel, advocates for a counterterrorism presence in Afghanistan beyond 2016 - citing the regeneration of terrorist groups as a future problem.

March 25, 2014. "Has NATO's ISAF mission in Afghanistan failed?" Deutsche Welle (Germany).

March 12, 2014. "Dunford Briefs Senate on Progress in Afghanistan". American Forces Press Service. The signing of the BSA is a big part of the brief.

June 30, 2011. "Afghans are ready for first stage of transition". DVIDS. The Afghan Transition Coordination Commission provided a forum for Afghan leaders to discuss the transition of security from ISAF forces to the ANSF.





1. Read more a potential military takeover of the Afghan government in "Afghanistan's Coming Coup?", Foreign Affairs, April 2, 2014.




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