Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan: The Slide Towards Expediency

Security sector reform has come to be viewed as the foundation for the state-building project in Afghanistan. Although the process has made important strides since its launch in the spring of 2002, the prevailing conditions in the country, notably high levels of insecurity and limited institutional and human capacity, have not been conducive to reform. Attempts to adjust the SSR agenda to reflect these conditions and meet immediate security challenges have deprived the process of its holistic vision. Its onus has shifted from ensuring democratic governance and accountability of the sector to maximizing security force effectiveness, a slide towards expediency that has threatened the underlying goals of the process.

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