One example is an operation that the Afghan security forces completed in November that resulted in twelve arrests. There was a core among the people arrested that is strongly suspected of having previously planned and carried out attacks against the Afghan security forces and ISAF, including the Swedish-Finnish units.
The Afghan security forces contacted the Swedish-Finnish force; they primarily wanted support when entering an area west of Mazar-e-Sharif. The Afghans wanted help finding and clearing homemade bombs since they suspected there were a great many of these in the area. This turned out to be true.
Joint command centres
Structures and opportunities for more successful security work have also improved since last spring. The Afghan authorities have, with the support of ISAF, established what are known as Operational Cooperation Centres, OCC, at several locations in the area of responsibility as well as on local and regional levels. At the joint command centres, the security authorities go through experiences from completed operations, and discuss the current security situation and what should be done.
Greater initiative and improved cooperation between the Afghan security forces, combined with support from ISAF, has resulted in diminished movement among the resistance groups found within the Swedish-Finnish area of responsibility. The population is also better protected.
Increased level of presence
Afghan police and military forces now have an increased level of presence in turbulent areas where police forces have previously been unwilling to patrol. Training by ISAF’s mentors has reinforced the Afghan police forces’ capability and confidence, which has resulted in an increased number of patrols and arrests. One example is the western part of the area of responsibility where efforts have forced resistance groups to cut down on the activities that oppress segments of the population.
The Afghan military has also improved its level of knowledge as a result of close cooperation with ISAF’s OMLT, Operational, Mentoring and Liasion Team, which constantly patrols and implements initiatives with the Afghan army. Under FS 18, the Swedish OMLT contribution will increase from around ten soldiers and officers that have been in place under FS 17 to around 50 to enable additional training and reinforcement of Afghan soldiers.
Directly to development projects
In 2009, the number of Devads, Development Advisors, increased from two to five, and a marjority of Swedish civil aid will go directly to development projects in the Swedish-Finnish area of responsibility in the northern part of Afghanistan. A Polad, Political Advisor, has resumed earlier efforts to create structures for a process to rebuild the Afghan society.