Striking the Right Balance: How to Rebuild the Afghan National Police

A well-trained, professional police force dedicated to upholding the rule of law and trusted by the population is essential to fighting the insurgency in Afghanistan and creating stability. However, the police programmes in Afghanistan have often been dominated by different national agendas and hampered by too few resources and lack of strategic guidance. These issues pose an enormous challenge for the Afghan government and the international community in rebuilding the police. This article argues that it is imperative that the international effort strike a balance between the short-term needs of fighting an insurgency and the long-term needs of establishing an effective sustainable policing capability when building up the police force; and that the process must not be subject merely to satisfying current security challenges or traditional state-building needs.

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