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Intelligence fusion concept gains adherents
The 13-year International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission to Afghanistan ended on 31 December 2014, handing the lead on securing and defending the country over to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and Afghan Security Institutions (ASIs). Shortly before the ISAF mission ended, senior coalition and Afghan security officials attended a week-long security-focused conference at the headquarters of the nascent operation Resolute Support, the NATO-led train, advise, and assist mission in Kabul.
This conference culminated in, among other initiatives, the adoption of a proposal to construct an Intelligence Fusion Centre (IFC) and a Command and Control Group (CCG) to focus on the multi-faceted threat to Kabul city and the surrounding districts from terrorism, insurgency, corruption, and organised crime. According to a senior intelligence officer who attended the conference, the instruction to develop these departments came directly from newly elected Afghan president Ashraf Ghani.
The new IFC will come under the control of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the CCG under the control of the Afghan police, presumably the Directorate of Police Intelligence (DPI), with the latter probably located at the Kabul City Police centre. The fusion centre has been designated a purely supportive function to the CCG, which will have responsibility for controlling and co-ordinating operations and tasking collection agencies.
Despite an initial sense of urgency, the proposal has yet to be ratified at government level, and personnel appointments from the relevant governmental departments are still being argued over, with no sign of impending agreement. The process is being further delayed by the government's inability to assign a new minister of defence.
Planning is nevertheless ongoing in security circles amid a general appreciation that the often competing organisations and agencies operating in the capital and its environs are in desperate need of a co-ordinating element. Training and mentoring are therefore progressing in areas identified by international partners (primarily the United States because of its funding) as vital for the potential success of the mission.
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