For those of us who serve in NATO Training Mission and Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan, training and transition are our middle names.
Training is what we do. We train new soldiers and police, generating capable security forces. We train staff members within the Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of the Interior, developing ministerial systems. And we train communicators, medics, logisticians and other specialists, developing the enduring institutions and skills required to sustain the ANA and ANP.
Transition is why we do it. We provide a ladder, and the Afghans climb it: On the ground floor, we have to do things for Afghans. Part way up, they’re doing things with us. And towards the top, they can do things by themselves. At the top, we transition to Afghan-led security…self-reliant and professionally-led forces with accountable and effective Afghan Ministries.
Bottom line: Our new mission statement sums it all up nicely:
NTM-A and CSTC-A, in coordination with key stakeholders, generates and sustains the Afghan National Security forces, develops leaders and establishes enduring institutional capacity in order to enable accountable Afghan-led security.
* Photo by SSgt Larry E. Reid Jr., USAF, from Defense Imagery.