Coalition seeks accelerated Afghan training schedule
By Trefor Moss
Bringing the Afghan National Army (ANA) up to its full mandated strength of 134,000 by November 2010 a year ahead of the current schedule is "achievable", according to the body that oversees the training of Afghan national security forces.
The ANA is currently timetabled to number 134,000 by the end of 2011. However, in early September UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, speaking at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, said that he wanted the deadline to be brought forward to November 2010 and for the number of cadets graduating each month to be doubled from 2,000 to 4,000.
A strategic assessment recently conducted by NATO commander General Stanley McChrystal, who recently met with Brown in Afghanistan, is also understood to have addressed the need for speeding up ANSF training, although his review has not yet been published.
A NATO source speaking on background told Jane's that the coalition increasingly sees the ANSF as "their ticket home" and is therefore keen to redouble its ANSF training efforts.
Brigadier General Anthony Ierardi, Deputy Commanding General of the US-led Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan (CSTC-A), told Jane's on 11 September that the ANA training schedule could feasibly be accelerated along the lines suggested by Brown.
"The current plan is to grow the ANA to 134,000 by December 2011. This plan is on track and that goal is achievable," Gen Ierardi said.233 of 583 words
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