Comparing Past and Current Challenges to Afghan Local Defense

by Lisa Saum-Manning

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This paper aspires to describe the Village Stability Operations/Afghan Local Police (VSO/ALP) program within the Afghan context. The first section provides a brief history of post 9/11 local defense initiatives in Afghanistan and identifies how VSO/ALP differs from past programs. The second section highlights some of the challenges facing the initiative and discusses some recent successes that suggest that the program has the potential to emerge as a viable and enduring solution to security and stability in Afghanistan.

The research described in this report was conducted by the RAND National Defense Research Institute.

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