On 26 June, 2009, the United States Secretary of Defense directed Commander, United States Central Command (CDRUSCENTCOM), to provide a multidisciplinary assessment of the situation in Afghanistan. On 02 July, 2009, Commander, NATO InternationalMoreOn 26 June, 2009, the United States Secretary of Defense directed Commander, United States Central Command (CDRUSCENTCOM), to provide a multidisciplinary assessment of the situation in Afghanistan.
On 02 July, 2009, Commander, NATO International Security Assistance Force (COMISAF) / U.S. Forces-Afghanistan (USFOR-A), received direction from CDRUSCENTCOM to complete the overall review.On 01 July, 2009 the Supreme Allied Commander Europe and NATO Secretary General also issued a similar directive.COMISAF subsequently issued an order to the ISAF staff and component commands to conduct a comprehensive review to assess the overall situation, review plans and ongoing efforts, and identify revisions to operational, tactical and strategic guidance.The following assessment is a report of COMISAFs findings and conclusions.
In summary, this assessment sought to answer the following questions:Can ISAF achieve the mission?If so, how should ISAF go about achieving the mission?What is required to achieve the mission?The assessment draws on both internal ISAF components, to include Regional Commands, and external agencies such as GIRoA ministries, International Governmental Organizations and Nongovernmental Organizations.
It also draws on existing ISAF and USFOR-A plans and policy guidance, relevant reports and studies, and the consultation of external experts and advisors.The stakes in Afghanistan are high. NATOs Comprehensive Strategic Political Military Plan and President Obamas strategy to disrupt, dismantle, and eventually defeat al Qaeda and prevent their return to Afghanistan have laid out a clear path of what we must do.
Stability in Afghanistan is an imperative- if the Afghan government falls to the Taliban -or has insufficient capability to counter transnational terrorists -Afghanistan could again become a base for terrorism, with obvious implications for regional stability.With that premise, newly appointed GEN Stanley McChrystal set out to develop a strategy for the way forward to achieve peace and stability in Afghanistan.
This newly released document is a must read for anyone interested in national security policy making -- especially as it applies to the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan and central Asia.