Civilian Defense Forces in Afghanistan

Video: RAND Congressional Briefing Series


Arturo Munoz

Senior Political Scientist, RAND Corporation

As NATO and U.S. forces plan to withdraw from Afghanistan, the question arises as to whether projected increases of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will suffice. Some argue that civilian defense forces to complement ANSF will be needed to improve counterinsurgency prospects and help impede Taliban efforts to expand their "shadow government." Others argue that establishing civilian defense forces will actually facilitate the resurgence of warlord militias, weaken the central government, and promote violence in the countryside.

This briefing will consider successful programs that have been used in other parts of the world in which local residents have helped provide security to their own communities, and the viability of emulating such counterinsurgency efforts in Afghanistan over the short and long term.

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