Aim of the Afghanistan Strategy
The GCPP Afghanistan Strategy is one of the key operational tools for delivering HMG policy for the prevention of conflict in Afghanistan. It is an integral part of HMG's efforts to create a secure and stable environment in which the Bonn Process can continue to progress. It operates in three basic areas:
Support to the security sector (eg the Afghanistan National Army (ANA), police reconstruction, support for the Presidential Office of National Security, DDR etc)
The promotion of good governance and the rule of law (eg conflict prevention work connected with human rights, judicial reform, and institutional capacity-building)
Dialogue, reconciliation and mediation (eg development of civil society)
A viable and sustainable Afghan security sector
No new outbreaks of inter-factional fighting on a scale that threatens central government or the newly-elected Parliament
Effective and accountable government and judicial structures at a national and local level
The Afghanistan Strategy has ambitious targets across a diverse range of activities between now and late 2007. Progress will be measured by assessing the degree to which the Bonn Process remains on track, in terms of both time and the development of fair, representative and sustainable political processes. Specifically we will be seeking to use the Strategy to support:
the creation and potential for deployment of the ANA; the establishment of multi-ethnic and fully accountable security forces (army, police, border guards); the completion of the DDR process; the security sector as a source of stability throughout the country, enhancing security, accountability and the rule of law
the Presidential Office of National Security (PONS) to play a critical role at the centre of Afghan government; effective and accountable government and judicial structures at national and local level including civilian oversight, an independent judiciary, and firm central control over the security apparatus
the nation-wide presence of offices for education and reconciliation; effective education of civil society about their own and others' rights, and thereby their contribution towards reducing conflict without resorting to violence; the consolidation, with central government endorsement, of a strong civil society focusing on the needs of the vulnerable and under-represented.
Creating a secure environment in which the political track can flourish to the extent that it cannot be derailed requires a two-pronged approach. The first is through the deployment of the necessary military assets to assist the Afghan authorities to increase security and stability. The UK will continue to shoulder its burden through the deployment of UK military forces primarily through NATO. The second is through support to SSR, to help build sustainable institutions which will form part of the accountable political process. The UK is lead nation for counter-narcotics activity. But the UK, through the GCPP Afghanistan Strategy, will be active in a wider variety of SSR fields, hence the breadth of the three basic areas.
Much has been achieved since the inception of this Strategy in June 2002. But the nation-building process remains difficult and not without significant risk. Preventing conflict originating in and from Afghanistan remains one of HMG's highest foreign policy priorities. Improving security and averting conflict, both in Kabul and in the regions, will have a profound effect on reducing the number of Afghan people whose lives have been blighted in the past. Post-conflict Afghanistan is an environment offering considerable scope for UK influence. Effective disbursement of GCPP Afghanistan Strategy funds will contribute positively to the achievement of the PSA, but also impact more widely on other joint PSAs and FCO PSAs/objectives such as those related to counter-narcotics and the continuing Global War Against Terrorism.
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