Canada and the NATO’s Training Mission in Afghanistan
Ottawa, 21 December 2012 - In a study released today by the CDA Institute, co-authors Meghan Spilka O’Keefe and George Petrolekas explain and assess our ongoing involvement [Operation ATTENTION] with the NATO training mission in Afghanistan in the context of Canadian national interests…
The study concludes that over the next 18 months two successes must be achieved in order to optimize Canadian national interests: (i) a quantifiable improvement in Afghan security must be demonstrated through the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A); and, (ii) that a sustainable post-2014 structure be put in place. However, to obtain Canadian support for any post-2014 initiatives or involvement, the government will need to better communicate those interests to Canadians.
In spite of the many achievements of the mission, the main indicator of mission success of NTM-A cannot be measured simply by the output of its schools or the quantitative strength that has been achieved. Persistent corruption within the Afghan government presents a significant barrier towards establishing quantifiable increases in Afghan security as well as severe impediments on the ability to strategically communicate any successes of the mission.
A number of key recommendations are placed to government:
1) Canadians require broader exposure to the role being played by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan and the linkage between success of training mission and Canadian interests in the wider region;
2) Funding should continue past 2014 - without continued financial assistance any gains made in Canada’s decade long investment risks being lost;
3) Post-2014 funding should be contingent upon quantifiable improvements in financial management, corruption, security, and rule of law; and,
4) A modest training and mentoring capability should remain post-2014 similar to minor training assistance and mentoring missions presently conducted by the CF elsewhere in the world [emphasis added].
Meghan Spilka O’Keefe worked as a Defence Analyst with the CDA Institute for two years and is now a senior consultant in procurement with Hill and Knowlton Strategies. George Petrolekas is a member of the Board of Directors of the CDA Institute, and former advisor to two chiefs of defence staff.
Earlier from the CDAI:
Mark Collins is a prolific Ottawa blogger
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