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Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF)

Afghan National Security Forces are made up of two main forces, the Afghan National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police (ANP). These groups are mentored and trained by ISAF forces. Ensuring ANSF are strong enough to enforce security throughout Afghanistan is fundamental to the ISAF strategy.

NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan (NTM-A) is responsible for the ANSF's institutional training, education and professional development activities, as set out by the Afghan Ministries of Defence and Interior.

An Afghan National Army soldier working with the 1st Kandak Explosive Ordnance Disposal team.

The importance of creating and training the Afghan National Security Forces to protect their own country and prevent the return of international terrorists cannot be overestimated. Along with the Afghan government development, they are the key to Afghanistan’s future security.

UK servicemen and women have played an important part in developing the Afghan National Security Forces. They have helped train, advise and mentor the Afghan forces. As a result, the Afghan forces have developed into credible and capable units that are earning the respect and trust of the Afghan population, with public confidence in the Afghan National Army reaching almost 90% (source: The Asia Foundation survey, 2013)

Numbering nearly 350,000 soldiers, police and air force personnel, the Afghan National Security Forces now have lead security responsibility across Afghanistan for its 30 million citizens. This marks a significant milestone for Afghanistan and its people. It has also enabled UK troop numbers to reduce and combat operations to decrease.

Afghan National Army

  • The basic unit in the ANA is the Battalion or Kandak, consisting of 600 troops.
    The vast majority of the Army is made up from infantry soldiers.
    More than 90 per cent of ISAF operations are conducted in conjunction with the ANA.

Afghan National Police 

The ANP is the primary national police force in Afghanistan. It is under the responsibility of Afghanistan's Ministry of the Interior. The ANP is composed of the following sub-agencies:

Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) The AUP is the primary civil law enforcement agency in Afghanistan. It is divided into five regional command centres, as well as the Afghan National Civil Order Police or ANCOP. Other forces falling under the command and control of the ANP include local traffic police departments and the fire department.

Afghan Border Police (ABP) The ABP are responsible for securing the borders of Afghanistan against the illegal entry of persons and the smuggling of illegal goods.

Afghan Highway Police The highway police are a sub-department of the national police that is currently being dissolved. Their primary responsibility is to provide traffic safety and overall security of the 'Ring Road' highway that connects most of the major population centres in Afghanistan.

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