NATO’s senior civilian in Afghanistan discusses challenges ahead
NATO’s senior civilian representative in Afghanistan, Ambassador Sir Simon Gass, gave a lecture at the Royal United Services Institute yesterday on the challenges ahead as Afghanistan prepares to take on responsibility for its own security by 2015.
Sir Simon began by reflecting on the fact that, as 2012 begins, there are just 36 months left before the ISAF mission in Afghanistan comes to an end and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) take on responsibility for the security of their country. ‘How should those remaining months be used to achieve a sustainable degree of stability?’ he asked.
Progress so far
To put that question into context, Sir Simon first reflected on how much progress has been made so far:
“That would depend,” he said, “on what you take as your starting point. If you go back to 2001 when ambition was very high and the insurgency seemed to have been stamped out, then you would say that the progress that we have made since then has not been as much as we would have liked or expected.”