Senior Afghan National Army officers, U.S. military officers and DynCorp contractors from Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan attend a workshop to develop standards for developing the 'Tashkil, ' a list of personnel and equipment authorizations that outline the structure of the Afghan National Defense Security Forces. These efforts will help build effective and sustainable security forces in the future.
Story and photos by Navy Lt. Stephen Webber
KABUL, Afghanistan (May 27, 2016) — On an early morning here at Resolute Support, a small crowd of senior Afghan National Army officers gathered around a table in a Coalition conference room. They came to attend a workshop ran by a team of young Afghan men and women, as well as U.S. military officers and contractors.
The assembled officers poured over packets of printed documents while engaging in vigorous discussion with each other and the seminar leaders. The goal was to brainstorm the best way to establish the systems that will enable the future security of Afghanistan.
"This workshop will provide a standard for developing Tashkil changes,” said David Hunt, Capabilities Development Directorate lead for the Force Management Directive workshops. "It allows the Afghans to accurately identify their resources to meet their mission requirements.”
Tashkil is borrowed from the Afghan terminology for a list of personnel and equipment authorizations that outlines the structure of the ANDSF.
The workshop was part of Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan’s mission to train, advise, and assist and led by the Capabilities Development Directorate, the unit responsible for building force management capacity in the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. In recent years, CSTC-A has focused on guiding their Afghan partners through force management processes, tracking the personnel and funding authorizations that make up the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of the Interior force structure. CDD is bringing this effort beyond the short-term goal of resourcing the ANDSF to the far more complex challenge of developing the systems that will allow the Afghans to take ownership of their own institutions and build effective, sustainable, security forces in the future.
The development of formal Force Management Directives by MoD and MoI is a key step in this mission. CDD continues to host workshops at Camp RS and consistently engages Afghan partners at all levels of command to help them draft these documents.
"The FM directive is a core document that will give us a better structure and improved capabilities,” Project Manager and interpreter Mohammad Zaher Muradi said, speaking to the shared goals of CSTC-A and the ANDSF. "Clear policy guidance is a step in this direction: one that will pay dividends for Afghanistan’s Security Forces and the people they serve.”
The written guidance drafted by ANDSF leadership, host nation subject-matter experts, and Coalition advisors codifies the processes by which ANDSF leaders and Afghan policy makers conduct analysis, plan to desired capabilities, and allocate resources to build their forces. For MoD and MoI, this process is known as Tashkil development.
Each space on the Tashkil represents the need for a specific capability that must be resourced. The identification of capability gaps and the budget process through which they are filled require careful planning and analysis. The Force Management Directive gives Afghans a blue print by which they can continue to grow and shape their military and police forces. By working collaboratively, the ANDSF and CSTC-A are moving beyond "Tashkil management,” simply keeping track of personnel and equipment authorizations, to true "force management,” conducting careful analysis to build the best army and police forces that they can afford.
"Most importantly, ANDSF force management will remain an Afghan process, one that our partners will master, develop, and continue to rely on as they fight for peace and stability in their homeland,” Hunt said.