KABUL, Afghanistan–(ENEWSPF)–September 2, 2012 – “It is acknowledged that the training of some 1,000 Afghan Local Police recruits has been temporarily put on hold in order to allow for an intensive re-vetting process to take place for the 16,300 current members of the ALP. There is no other operational impact for Afghan police and other security forces.
This precautionary measure is in response to concerns by Afghan, U.S. and other Coalition commanders over recent insider threat incidents. However, it is stressed that effective ALP operations are continuing to deliver significant results against the insurgency and that the working relationships between ALP, U.S. and other Coalition partners continue to be strong. The 8,000 Commandos and 3,000 ANA Special Operations Forces in the recently inaugurated ANA Special Operations Division continue with their normal and highly effective operational activity. The vetting status of all Commandos and Special Operations Forces is also being checked, but this again is having no impact on current operations.
The measures being applied to ANA special forces and ALP personnel reflects the intensive effort to recheck the vetting status of the some 350,000 ANSF personnel as part of a number of actions recently instituted to reinforce existing precautions related to the insider threat. Much of this re-vetting task has already been completed and numbers of individuals, where vetting status has been found to be in doubt, have been suspended pending further investigation, or removed from the force.
Reflecting the current drive to counter the insider threat, senior ISAF and ANSF commanders and Afghan security ministers attended a conference yesterday chaired by Gen. John Allen, the commander of ISAF, to develop joint solutions to add to the already intensive effort to protect all of our soldiers, Afghan and Coalition, from the insider threat, noting that Afghan and ISAF alike have suffered.
We noted that the campaign continues to move forward, with the insurgents under constant pressure and resorting to ever more desperate measures, such as IEDs and suicide bombings, whilst the ANSF grow stronger and more confident day by day. We expressed confidence that the ANSF will be more than capable of taking over full responsibility for Afghanistan’s security in 2014, and will thereafter enjoy strong international support.
The synergy between the Afghan government and military and the Coalition has already resulted in several concrete measures to defeat the insider threat. Among the new initiatives being implemented are improvements to the vetting process for new recruits; increasing the number of counterintelligence teams; introduction of interview procedures for ANA soldiers returning from leave; a new warning and reporting system for insider threats; enhanced intelligence exchange between the ANSF and ISAF; establishment of an anonymous reporting system; improved training for counter-intelligence agents; establishment of a joint investigation commission when insider threats occur; and enhanced cultural training to include visits to Coalition home training centers by Afghan Cultural and Religious Affairs advisers, which were authorized by President Karzai this morning.
On behalf of Gen. Allen, who had to be elsewhere today, this morning I presented the ISAF views on tackling the insider threat, alongside Afghan security ministers and commanders, at an Afghan government National Security Council meeting chaired by President Karzai. During the meeting the President once again expressed his strong support for the extensive measures being taken and impressed upon his ministers and commanders his absolute determination that we should work together to eradicate this pernicious threat.
During the meeting the nature of the strong and enduring partnership that the Coalition and Afghan colleagues enjoy was recognized by all, as was the fact that this common threat is serving to bring us ever closer together in our working relationship as we seek to protect the thousands of Afghan and Coalition men and women in our Combined Force, wherever they may be serving in this theater.”