Progress report on Afghanistan by erin.natividad


									Progress report on Afghanistan
for the Information of the German Bundestag

Interim report June 2012
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012


Federal Government Press and Information Office
11044 Berlin

Date of publication
German original: June 2012
English translation: July 2012

Further Information on the Internet at
                                                                      Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

Introduction and summary

The purpose of the Federal Government's progress reports is to inform the German
Bundestag of the situation in Afghanistan. The ministries involved in Afghanistan – princi-
pally the Federal Foreign Office, the Federal Ministry of the Interior, the Federal Ministry of
Defence and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development – produce
the reports jointly under the aegis of the Federal Government's Special Representative for
Afghanistan and Pakistan. Since April 2012, that has been the Ambassador Michael Koch. In
its first progress report dated December 2010, the Federal Government took stock of the
situation and determined the direction of Germany's engagement in Afghanistan. In July
2011 it presented an interim report, followed in December 2011 by a further detailed pro-
gress report. This interim report gives an update on the situation in Afghanistan and looks at
current developments and forthcoming events. The report is again divided into the three key
spheres of the international engagement in Afghanistan: security, governance and develop-
ment. The Federal Government will update the German Bundestag on the situation in
Afghanistan in December 2012.

The positive trend seen in 2011 continued in Afghanistan in the first half of 2012.

The structures of the Al Qaida terrorist network in Afghanistan were largely destroyed,
thus achieving one of the international community's key aims. That success now needs to
be secured, permanently ruling out the return of the terrorist threat. At the Bonn
International Conference on Afghanistan in December 2011 the international community
therefore reaffirmed that, even after the withdrawal of international combat troops from
Afghanistan, it intends to continue contributing towards strengthening a sovereign Afghan
State which is capable of taking care of its own security, contributes to the region's
stability, respects international law including human rights, and increasingly offers its
people economic and social prospects.

In the past few years, visible progress has been made towards that goal. In parts of the
country, the security situation remains difficult, but there has been a further slight
improvement overall. The Afghan National Security Forces have taken over responsibility
in most areas of the country and are demonstrating that they are generally competent to
perform that task. Several horrific attacks in Kabul mar the picture, but do not alter it.
Overall, the number of security-related incidents (SRIs) has fallen slightly again. There has
been a decline in the losses suffered by the International Security Assistance Force, ISAF;
according to the United Nations, the number of civilian casualties – due primarily to attacks
by anti-government forces – has shown a further significant decline for the first time.1
However, the number of civilian and military casualties in this conflict remains high.

 According to UNAMA, 579 civilians were killed in the first four months of 2012; in 2011 the total was 3 021.
Compared to the previous year, that corresponds to a 21% reduction. ‘UN: Civilian casualties in Afghanistan
down for the first time since 2007.’ dpa, 30.05.2012, 13.36 hrs.
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Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

As Afghan forces gradually take over responsibility for security (‘transition’), the reduction
in the international military presence in Afghanistan has begun. At the NATO summit in
Chicago on 20-21 May, the Heads of State and Government of the NATO and ISAF countries
confirmed that the ISAF operation would end as planned on 31 December 2014. By mid-
2013, once the Afghan National Security Forces have taken the lead throughout the country,
ISAF will assume a purely supporting role, though that could still include combat missions.
The force protection rules of engagement and capabilities still stand.
Chicago is therefore a turning point for the international engagement in Afghanistan. It is
increasingly a question of safeguarding and consolidating what has been achieved. The
central focus is on reconstruction of the Afghan State, economic and social development,
support for democracy and civil society, and for political and economic cooperation in the
region. That requires in particular long-term civilian support.
It is not possible for any party to gain military victory in this conflict. The Afghan Taliban, as
the largest faction in the anti-government forces, have now also acknowledged that, and in
January 2012 publicly declared their willingness to enter into peace negotiations.2 While the
process of political reconciliation is still a very long way from achieving a break-through, a
start has been made. Great expectations now rest on Pakistan in particular, which plays a
key role in the region. In Chicago, Pakistan's President Zardari reiterated his country's
interest in a stable Afghanistan.
The regional Istanbul Process is making progress. At a meeting in Kabul in June 2012, led by
Afghanistan, the foreign ministers of neighbouring countries and others in the region
decided on annual follow-up meetings and concrete confidence-building measures reminis-
cent of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). In view of significant
imponderables for security in the region – ranging from the conflict over Iran's nuclear
programme to the difficult relationship between India and Pakistan – the process of institu-
tionalised regional cooperation which has thus begun is a particularly important step.
However, this progress must not hide the fact that, in many respects, Afghanistan is still
languishing near the bottom of the league in the global community. So far, the hoped-for
improvements in governance have fallen short of expectations. The control of corruption –
an urgent requirement for international support – is only making slow progress. While there
have been considerable improvements in the human rights situation since 2001, in practice
the rights enshrined in the Afghan constitution are far too frequently ignored. In the spring
of 2012, reports on mistreatment in prisons, and on the situation of women in Afghanistan,
aroused international concern; however, the fact that Afghan human rights organisations
can now report freely on such matters is progress in itself. The support which the Federal
Government and other partners are providing for the justice sector is slowly beginning to
produce results.
However, one of the lessons from ten years of international engagement in Afghanistan is
that outside help cannot put right all that is wrong in just a few years. Long-term, reliable
support for reforms must come from the inside – not only from the government but also
from parliament, civil society and the economy. In the coming years, with the withdrawal
of the combat troops, this will increasingly become the focus of the international engage-
ment in Afghanistan.

    Statement by the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’, 3 January 2012, see also chapter 3.
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                                                          Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

This situation, which is encouraging overall, is underpinned primarily by the long-term
efforts concerning security, reconstruction and development. The political successes of the
previous years point the way to the future. The Bonn International Conference on Afghani-
stan on 5 December 2011 laid sound foundations for Afghanistan's continuing stabilisation
and development. The Bonn conclusions extend far beyond the previous horizon of 2014,
and send the clear message that the international community will not abandon Afghanistan
after the withdrawal of its combat troops. Bonn was therefore not just a major diplomatic
event, but also pointed the way forward. In May 2012, speaking in Berlin and Chicago, the
Afghan President Hamid Karzai stressed that, in preparing and organising this conference,
Germany had again made an important contribution to peace and security in Afghanistan.
The international consensus achieved in Bonn concerning Afghanistan will be put into
practice in 2012. Apart from the daily efforts of the Afghan and international players on the
ground, this essentially takes the form of three follow-up conferences. The NATO Summit in
Chicago on 20-21 May confirmed that ISAF would withdraw by the end of 2014; it decided to
set up a training mission from 2015 and initiated arrangements for the medium-term
funding of the Afghan National Security Forces. A regional foreign ministers meeting on 14
June 2012 in Kabul added substance to the mechanism for regional confidence-building
agreed in Istanbul in November 2011. And finally, at an international conference to be held
in Tokyo on 8 July 2012, the intention is that the international community should underpin
its long-term civilian support by pledging the necessary funding. The Federal Government
aims to maintain the German civilian resources for Afghanistan's reconstruction and
development at their current level beyond 2013. In return, the Afghan Government will
have to fulfil its reform obligations with tangible progress and commitments.

Afghanistan after the NATO Summit

The Chicago NATO Summit in May 2012 was a decisive step towards bringing the deploy-
ment of international combat forces in Afghanistan to a responsible conclusion. At the end
of 2014, the ISAF International Security Assistance Force will complete its mission. With
their promise of further training, advice, support and funding for the Afghan National
Security Forces beyond 2014, the Heads of State and Government in Chicago laid the foun-
dations for long-term security provision and stable expectations in the region. A number of
bilateral agreements supplement the enduring cooperation between Afghanistan and
NATO. Chicago has thus fulfilled the part of the Bonn agreements concerning Afghanistan's

On 21 May 2012, at the NATO Summit in Chicago, the Heads of State and Government of 50
nations supplying ISAF troops, plus Japan, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajiki-
stan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and representatives of the United Nations, the EU and the
World Bank agreed on a summit declaration prepared jointly with Afghanistan. This con-
firmed the roadmap for handing over responsibility for security (transition) to the Afghan
Government by the end of 2014. It also stated that the Afghan Government was expected to
achieve further progress in governance, the fight against corruption, and the protection of
human rights and the rights of women.
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Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

The transition began in 2011 and is to extend to the whole of Afghanistan by mid-2013.
This means that 2013 will represent a milestone for the international military deployment:
at that stage, its task will already switch to support and advice for the Afghan National
Security Forces. The use of the ISAF will end with the completion of the transition on 31 De-
cember 2014. The long-term support for the Afghan National Security Forces agreed in Bonn
will be implemented jointly with Afghanistan. In Chicago, the heads of government of NATO
and the ISAF partners decided to provide a NATO-led military presence beyond 2014 to
support the development and training of the Afghan National Security Forces. This laid the
political foundation for a new training, advice and support mission led by NATO, clearly
distinguishable from ISAF. For the first time, that will not include any combat mission.
The provisional plans for the future overall strength of the Afghan National Security Forces
- subject to the security situation at the time – specify a target strength of 228 500 men and
an estimated annual budget of USD 4.1 billion. This was supported in Chicago by commit-
ments totalling around USD 3.5 billion. The Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel announced a
German contribution of around EUR 150 million a year.
The alliance in Afghanistan is still based on the principle ‘together in, together out’.
Generally speaking, national decisions by other ISAF troop providers such as France to
withdraw their troops sooner than originally planned do not endanger either that consensus
or security in Afghanistan. The Federal Government shares the aim of ending the ISAF
mission as planned in 2014. A responsible reduction in the number of Bundeswehr soldiers
deployed in Afghanistan is also to take place by that date. That withdrawal began in January
2012 with the first reduction in the upper limit of the German ISAF mandate.
Chicago means that the Bundeswehr's ISAF mission will end as planned in 2014. By then,
the number of troops will be further reduced as the situation permits. In the process, the
German-led ISAF Regional Command North could also serve as a logistical centre for other
partner nations for the withdrawal; this implies a special responsibility for Germany and the
However, the international engagement in Afghanistan will not end with the combat
mission. The Federal Government has indicated that, in principle, it is willing to take part in a
new NATO-led military presence in Afghanistan without a combat profile from 2015 on-
wards. However, according to the Chicago decisions, that mission will be fundamentally
different from ISAF. It will be considerably smaller and will have no combat mission. It needs
a new basis in international law, preferably a mandate from the UN Security Council. A
simple extension of the ISAF mission is not an option. The alliance committees and staff are
now working on plans for a NATO-led presence in Afghanistan. The nature and extent of
Germany's participation resulting from the NATO planning process will not become apparent
until the end of 2012 at the earliest. The same applies to the likely impact on the plans for
the withdrawal of the Bundeswehr ISAF contingent.
The cooperation between Afghanistan and NATO, already agreed in Lisbon in 2010 and now
specified in more detail in Chicago, is being supplemented by bilateral agreements.
On 1 May 2012, US President Obama and Afghan President Karzai signed a bilateral partner-
ship agreement between the USA and Afghanistan in Kabul (Enduring Strategic Partnership
Agreement between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the United States of America).
The agreement provides the framework for a long-term US engagement in Afghanistan. It
does not agree any arrangements concerning American military bases in Afghanistan, but
allows the joint use of Afghan military facilities. The USA undertakes not to use Afghan
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                                                            Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

territory or Afghan facilities for attacks on other States. In addition, mutual obligations were
agreed in regard to the securing and further development of democratic values, long-term
security, development of regional security and cooperation, social and economic develop-
ment and the strengthening of Afghan institutions and governance.
On 16 May 2012 Federal Chancellor Merkel and President Karzai signed a bilateral agree-
ment on cooperation between Germany and Afghanistan. The agreement is intended to
regulate relations with Afghanistan in the long term, and particularly during the transfor-
mation decade (2015 to 2024). The text was devised with the Afghans under the auspices of
the Federal Foreign Office with the involvement of all the federal ministries concerned plus
the Permanent Treaty Commission (Ständige Vertragskommission der Länder). The content
of the comprehensive government agreement covers all key areas of Germany's bilateral
relations with Afghanistan. The agreement specifies that Afghanistan must fulfil existing
pledges (such as those given most recently at the conferences in Kabul and London), particu-
larly concerning the implementation of shared values of democracy, respect for human
rights and the rule of law, adherence to the principles of good governance, the reform of
public administration and the fight against corruption. Great Britain, France, Italy, India,
China and Australia have concluded similar agreements; Poland and the EU are in negotia-
In the past ten years Afghanistan has become an equal member of the international com-
munity. However, the multi-faceted international engagement in Afghanistan requires
constant coordination.
Since 1 January 2011 Germany has been the ‘lead nation’ for Afghanistan in the United
Nations Security Council, and has acted as coordinator there for all questions concerning
that country. On 22 March 2012 the UN Security Council unanimously approved Resolution
2041 (2012), renewing the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan
(UNAMA). Germany was in charge of producing the text.
In the first half of 2012, the International Contact Group (ICG) on Afghanistan met twice: on
25 April in Abu Dhabi and on 17 June in Helsinki. It now comprises 54 countries and organisa-
tions, including neighbouring Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, regional
players such as Turkey, India, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the United
Nations, NATO, the EU and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). At its meeting in
Abu Dhabi the International Contact Group confirmed the Federal Government's new Special
Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Ambassador Michael Koch, as its chairman.
This means that Germany will continue to play a central, coordinating role in international
policy in Afghanistan following the 2011 Bonn Conference on Afghanistan.

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Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

I.       Security and transition

1.       Security situation

Despite individual attacks orchestrated by anti-government forces to attract media atten-
tion, the increasingly stable security situation in Afghanistan was further consolidated up
to the early summer of 2012. In the east and south of the country; the security situation is
still tense and unstable in some areas. In the last six months the Afghan and international
security forces have retained the upper hand and succeeded in maintaining military pres-
sure on the insurgents. In addition, the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme
(APRP) which is steadily increasing its presence achieved a measurable reduction in the
insurgency. Although a negotiated political solution with the Taliban cannot be expected in
the short term, the anti-government elements have become noticeably less sure of them-
selves at all levels in the past six months. Many insurgents and their commanders are
evidently wondering why they should risk their life every day while their political leaders
are already negotiating with foreign forces and with the Afghan Government. This presents
an opportunity for offering reintegration.

Overall, in the early summer of 2012, the security situation remained tense and fragile. The
level of threat varies from one region to another, but remains substantial. The insurgents
can still take action, even if that increasingly applies only at local level. They prefer dramatic
attacks which attract media attention; they are now targeting Afghan forces rather than

                                                                         Threat level

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                                                            Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

In the past ten months the number of security-related incidents (SRIs) has largely been
declining compared to the previous year, and a trend is now apparent. Between January and
May 2012, SRIs were down by around 10% against the corresponding period of 2011. That is
remarkable considering that the expansion of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is
now almost complete, the numbers having reached 345 000. Even though the number of
SRIs has not declined further so far in June 2012, if the situation develops as expected, there
is likely to be a continuing gradual downward trend for 2012 as a whole. Owing to the
increasing stability and progressive handover to Afghan responsibility, there was a reduction
in both ISAF losses and Afghan civilian casualties. However, ANSF losses increased. The
reason is that there are now greater numbers of ANSF personnel, and they are increasingly
in the front line as they take on more responsibility for security.
The development of the security
situation in ISAF Regional Com-
mand North (RC-N) under Ger-
man command remains generally
positive. There has been a 50%
decline in SRIs here, including in
the hitherto fiercely contested
provinces of Kunduz and Baghlan.
In the areas where responsibility
for security has been handed over                       Security-related incidents.
to Afghanistan under the transi-                        Increase / decrease v. previous year
tion, the security situation as a
whole has been further stabilised
under Afghan leadership. Howev-
er, that is not universally true. In Faryab Province there has been virtually no change, and the
threat level remains substantial, or in some areas high. Even in the more peaceful districts
there are continual, isolated recurrences of temporarily heightened tension.
In the Pashtun tribal areas, particularly in Regional Command East along the border with
Pakistan, the security situation remains critical. Though the insurgents face considerable
military operational pressure on the Afghan side, there is no determined pursuit on the
Pakistani side. This constitutes a substantial to high potential threat on both sides of the
border. In the south and south-west of Afghanistan, the threat also remains high, despite
some stabilisation. Now that the expansion of the number of ANSF personnel is almost
completed and the ISAF drawdown is beginning, the international and Afghan scope for
combating the anti-government forces will reach its maximum in the summer of 2012. Even
with further support for the ANSF, the threats which persist after the full takeover of
responsibility for security are likely to remain a fact of life in Afghanistan.
The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) currently total 345 000. That is 97.5% of their
target strength of 352 000 determined in June 2011 and to be achieved by October 2012,
comprising 195 000 in the Afghan National Army (ANA) and 157 000 in the Afghan National
Police (ANP). The expansion in the number of ANSF personnel is therefore still progressing
well, and according to plan. This has created conditions for the successful continuation of
the gradual transfer of responsibility for security under the transition throughout the coun-
try in 2012. The aim of the international community and of the Afghan Government is to
ensure that, by the end of 2014, Afghanistan is in a position to take care of its own security.
For that, it is essential that the Afghan Government actually takes on the responsibility and
                                                                                             Page 7
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

that the capability of the ANSF personnel continues to improve. It is the general view of the
Afghan Government and the international community that, if consistent progress is achieved
along the current path, by the end of 2014 Afghanistan will have sufficient security forces to
take care of the country's security on its own.
Occasional attacks by ANSF insiders have proved to be a threat, with further loss of life
among Afghan and international trainers and mentors in 2012. Security precautions to
prevent such attacks were stepped up, and vigilance increased. However, close cooperation
is essential.
In providing support for the Afghan National Army (ANA), Germany is concentrating on the
209th ANA corps stationed in the north, the Engineering School in Mazar-i-Sharif and the
Logistics School in Kabul. The expansion of the 209th ANA Corps in the area of responsibility
of the German-led Regional Command North will continue as planned in 2012. Of the 29
units in the 209th ANA Corps, 24 have already been set up. Two more units will follow in
2012, and the remaining three are scheduled for 2013. According to Afghan estimates,
around 80% of the existing units in this corps are already capable of conducting their
operations independently or with the support of ISAF mentors. The switching of the German
contribution from training and protection battalions to Partnering and Advising Task Forces
(PATF) under the NATO Security Force Assistance (SFA) concept takes that into account. The
steadfast aim is still to ensure the responsibility and independence of the ANSF. In future,
the support will principally concern skills in which the ANA still has a shortage: joint fire
support for armed forces, reconnaissance, armoured protection and tactical air transport.
Meanwhile, operations in North Afghanistan are now normally planned and led by the
ANSF with active support from ISAF forces. However, the ANA capability profile does not
yet reflect the entire spectrum of necessary skills. There is still a lack of trained combat
forces, operational and management support staff, and sound training schemes for leaders
and troops. There is still a need to improve the long-term planning capability and qualifica-
tions of officers and NCOs.
In the first half of 2012, the Afghan forces demonstrated their increasing capability for
conducting operations in dealing with a wide range of SRIs and threats. In February, when
the burning of the Koran sparked disturbances nationwide, the ANSF managed to get the
situation under control and restore a stable security situation virtually unaided. On 15 and
16 April 2012, simultaneous attacks by anti-government forces in the capital Kabul and in
other parts of Afghanistan presented a major challenge for the ANSF, but they managed to
deal with it. They very quickly confined the repercussions to the local area, even though the
attacks on several diplomatic representations in the capital – including the German embassy
– attracted extensive media coverage. International forces were brought in mainly for their
technical equipment (helicopters, night vision aids), and only at a later stage; they were not
needed to resolve the situation. On 2 May the international compound – ‘Green Village’ – in
Kabul, which is also used to accommodate the German Police Project Team (GPPT) and the
EU police mission EUPOL Afghanistan, was the target of an attack in which 13 people were
killed and 23 injured. In this case too, the ANSF response was fast and effective.
In recent months there have been decisive moves to set the course for the post-transition
period in regard to the police. On 21 May 2012 at the Chicago NATO Summit the ISAF
countries and Afghanistan emphasised that the Afghan National Police (ANP) are to take

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                                                                 Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

over primary responsibility for Afghanistan's internal security in the future as a purely civilian
In the sphere of operations, the International Police Coordination Board (IPCB) has initiated
a decisive reform process by staging the Kabul Police Conference on 3 May 2012. This is
intended to prepare the Afghan police specifically for the changing demands following the
transition. The conference set up three working groups covering the central topics for the
establishment of an independent, capable Afghan police service: (1) putting the ANP on a
professional, civilian footing; (2) reform of the interior ministry; and (3) strengthening
cooperation between police and judiciary. The working groups, with their balance of Afghan
and international members, have already started work and will present their findings at a
follow-up conference in October 2012. Germany is represented in all three working groups.
One indicator of the success of German and international engagement in the development
of the police force in Afghanistan is the perception of the police by the Afghan people.
According to a regular UNDP survey4 this continued to improve in 2011 compared to the
previous year: 46% of those polled stated that their trust in the Afghan police had risen in
the past year (2010: 34%). Also, nearly half reported that crime in their region had fallen in
the past year. Altogether, 81% respect the Afghan police (2010: 73%). Although Afghans
consider that corruption is declining (from 60% in 2010 to 53% in 2011), that remains the
principal problem within the Afghan police.
The Law and Order Trust Fund (LOTFA) administered by the UNDP, which funds and adminis-
ters the wages of the Afghan police and law enforcement personnel, received a first tranche
of EUR 20 million from the Federal Government for the year 2012. Both Germany and the
other LOTFA donors take very seriously a recent accusation of irregularity in the accounting,
in a report by the Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (MEC).5 The LOTFA and UNDP policy
on disclosure has indicated that conscientious efforts are being made to rectify existing
shortcomings. The fund is supervised by an independent auditing company.
This year's most significant administrative reform was the handover of responsibility for the
penal system from the Justice Ministry to the Interior Ministry. The Central Prison Direc-
torate (CPD), responsible for the penal system, now reports directly to the Interior Minister
as an independent unit.
The main aim of German bilateral engagement in the German Police Project Teams (GPPT) is
to establish an efficient police training system in Afghanistan by the end of the transition in
2014. One of the cornerstones is the training of Afghan police trainers. The extremely strong
demand for German trainer courses at the beginning of the year made it necessary to
relocate some of the classes in other training centres in the vicinity of Kabul. As a result,
more than 500 Afghan trainers had received training by May 2012 (2011: 450).
The German training centres in North Afghanistan are training Afghan recruits in categories
equivalent to the basic and middle-level grades in Germany. Afghan trainers already make
up two-thirds of all the police trained there (December 2011: 40%), while German police
experts are increasingly adopting an advisory role under the transition.
  Chicago Summit Declaration on Afghanistan,
  United Nations Development Programme: ‘Police Perception Survey – 2011: The Afghan Perspective’ at
  See: Independent Joint Anti-Corruption Monitoring & Evaluation Committee: ‘Recommendations, Benchmarks
and Follow-up after the Fourth MEC Mission’, p. 5 ff., February 2012.
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Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

Work on the construction of the German police training centres in North Afghanistan is
nearing completion. The police academy branch and training centre in Mazar-i-Sharif have
been operating at full capacity since the end of 2011, with a total of 1 400 training places.
The extension at the training centre in Kunduz also entered into service on schedule by
March 2012, and thus now provides training places and accommodation for a total of 540
police recruits. In the first half of 2012, the Faizabad police training centre was systematically
prepared for the handover to Afghan responsibility in the second half of 2012.
For the European police mission EUPOL Afghanistan, the main focus is still on training,
advice and mentoring for the management level of the Afghan police and the Interior
Ministry, and development of the structures of law and order. The EU Council's mandate for
the mission runs until May 2013. In November 2011 the EU Council passed a decision in
principle whereby, following the expected completion of the current strategic review in July
2012, the mandate will be extended to the end of 2014. The number of EUPOL staff has risen
in the past 18 months from 250 to around 350 international personnel, and around 200
Afghan staff (as at May 2012). The Netherlands, in particular, has considerably increased its
commitment in terms of personnel, especially in Kunduz. In the past nine months, that has
permitted a substantial expansion of the project concerning increased cooperation between
police and judiciary, cofinanced by the Netherlands and implemented by the GIZ (Gesell-
schaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit).
The most prominent EUPOL project for which Germany provides funding and assistance with
content is the production of the ‘Commissar Amanullah’ crime series launched on Afghan
private television in May 2012. The series aims to improve the public image of the police
while entertaining viewers. It is intended to strengthen cooperation between the police and
the population and make a job in the police force more attractive. Of course, real life in
Afghanistan has not yet progressed as far as in the TV series, where a feisty female police
officer is thoroughly in command. 6

2.         Transition and withdrawal planning

The gradual transfer of responsibility for security to the Afghan Government is proceeding
as planned. This transition was decided at the Lisbon 2010 NATO summit; it began in July
2011 and is to be completed by the end of 2014. Three-quarters of Afghans now live in
areas under Afghan responsibility. There has been a continuation of the increasingly posi-
tive changes in the security situation. The transition permits responsible withdrawal and –
ultimately – the ending of the ISAF international protection force. To safeguard this success
in the long term, it is essential to maintain the training, advice and funding for the Afghan
National Security Forces (ANSF) even after 2014.

On 13 May 2012 President Karzai announced the third tranche of areas in which the transfer
of responsibility for security from ISAF to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) will
begin. It comprises another 122 districts and the entire provinces of Uruzgan, Kapisa and
Parwan. This means that the transition now covers all the provincial capitals and 75% of the
Afghan population. Despite regional variations, the process has run smoothly overall. The
fourth transition tranche will follow at the beginning of 2013; with the fifth and final tranche

    Der Spiegel: Sabas Revier [Saba's police station] 25.03.2012, p. 52 ff.
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                                                           Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

in mid-2013, the transition process will have been initiated throughout Afghanistan.
However, it must be remembered that there are still many regions with a critical security
situation in some places, especially in the south and east.

Many districts in the German area of responsibility in Regional Command North are
included in transition tranche 3 (T3). This means that the process of handing over responsi-
bility for security there has begun in 101 of 123 districts (82%). For the first time, more
sparsely populated areas with a more difficult security situation are taken into account. In
addition to the T2 districts, a further 15 districts in Badakhshan province are now being
transferred. The remaining five administrative units (Ishkashim, Kuran Wa Munjan, Wakhan,
Warduj, Zaybak) are to follow in tranche 4. In Baghlan, six districts along the vital north-
south supply route are included. In Faryab, the ANSF is taking over responsibility for security
in eleven districts, and eight in Jowzjan.
With Kunduz Province (except for the Khanabad district), the transition is now taking place
in one of the provinces of North Afghanistan central to the Bundeswehr deployment. Kunduz
remains strategically important, especially in view of its position between the Salang Pass
and the Tajik border, used as a supply and withdrawal route by ISAF. As a nodal point of
economic and strategic importance, Kunduz was not only a stronghold of the Taliban in the
north, but continues to be a key focus of ISAF and ANSF operations and of international civil
While the security situation in the Kunduz area worsened steadily from 2007 to 2009, that
negative trend was halted, and since 2011 reversed, starting with successful ISAF and ANSF
operations supported by international special forces in the autumn and winter of 2010. In
particular, the intermediate command level of the anti-government elements was consider-
ably weakened and their refuges were retaken. There has been a visible, measurable im-
                                                                                           Page 11
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

provement in the security situation, even though there is still increased conflict potential in
the Pashtun tribal areas. The areas won back from the insurgents were successfully held and
the insurgents were largely prevented from establishing new refuges. The growing opera-
tional capability of the ANSF and the dogged pursuit of insurgents by the ANSF, ISAF and US
Special Forces were a major factor in this welcome development, as were the efforts to
stabilise the area where the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) is working, and the deve-
lopment measures.
The reintegration of former insurgents who have renounced militancy has begun well in
Kunduz, with the relatively large number of around 300 reintegration volunteers. Implemen-
tation of the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Programme (APRP) was initially slow and
did not really take off until 2012. The provincial government has conducted the first projects
with the support of UNDP and the PRT. This work benefited not only the reintegrated per-
sons but also their communities, as a visible peace dividend.7 This has helped to encourage
other villages.
The launch of the transition process in Kunduz is supported by the now stable security situ-
ation and the progress made in developing the ANSF and improving its operational capabil-
ity. The phased transfer of full responsibility for security to the ANSF is accompanied by a
reduction and restructuring of the ISAF forces. In agreement with the NATO and ISAF part-
ners, this will also concern the Bundeswehr deployment in Afghanistan. As responsibility is
progressively transferred to the ANSF, ISAF is effecting a phased withdrawal. On 15 February
2012 in Taloqan, the Provincial Advisory Team (PAT) was relieved of its assignment and
disbanded shortly afterwards. The Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Faizabad will be
maintained until July 2012, then disbanded by the end of 2012. The Kunduz reconstruction
team is to be placed under civilian overall control in the second half of 2012, and is expected
to be disbanded by the end of 2013. In the process, the future of the Afghan civilians
working for the German PRT will have to be resolved; work on that is now in progress, in
consultation with the German authority concerned. The focus will be on providing further
training and arranging jobs on the local labour market.
The successes achieved in the past two years of civilian-military cooperation must now be
secured by further stabilisation and development measures and by strengthening the
government structures. The engagement focus will increasingly shift to long-term develop-
ment cooperation. In the coming years the German presence in North Afghanistan will be
tailored to that task.
In this phase, the planning and implementation of the withdrawal from Afghanistan are
becoming increasingly important. An initial NATO estimate found that the withdrawal will
entail transporting more than 70 000 vehicles and up to 125 000 containers. Germany's
share in that comes to around 1 600 vehicles and 6 000 containers. A comprehensive NATO
logistical withdrawal plan is currently being devised, with due regard for the national plans
of the ISAF partners. In logistical terms, the withdrawal is a separate phase of the overall
operation. The simultaneous withdrawal of the ISAF partners, the limited supply routes, the
vast quantity of material and the constantly declining personnel numbers in the ISAF mission
contingents present particular challenges for this task. The withdrawal timelines are deter-
mined essentially by the progress of the transition, the further build-up of the ANSF, and
coordination between partner nations. The withdrawal from Afghanistan will be organised
responsibly in all phases and will not jeopardise the preservation of existing achievements.
    For example, in Chahar Darah district (Kunduz Province) which used to be a stronghold of the insurgency.
Page 12
                                                                Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

II.    The State and Governance

3.     Political perspective and the peace process

The presence of international troops in Afghanistan has made it possible to establish a
functioning, democratic State. However, it cannot resolve the conflict in Afghanistan. Only
a political and social reconciliation process supported by countries in the region can bring
lasting stability to Afghanistan and to the region. That process was initiated in 2010 with a
Peace Jirga and the appointment of a High Peace Council. Discreet diplomatic contact led
to the first talks with the Afghan Taliban. In January 2012 the Taliban declared publicly for
the first time that they were willing to enter into peace talks.8 In February Pakistan de-
clared its support. Even though the road to a negotiated peace is still long and difficult, the
first steps have been taken. The Federal Government has actively supported this process
and will continue its efforts to ensure that it is not a backward step for Afghanistan.

At the Bonn International Conference on Afghanistan on 5 December 2011, the Afghan
Government and the international community agreed that lasting stability for Afghanistan
can be achieved only by a peace process that involves the Taliban. To ensure that this would
not mean peace at any price, the following fundamental principles were agreed in Bonn:
The peace process must be (1) Afghan-led and (2) inclusive, representing the legitimate
interests of all Afghan people. The peace solution must comprise (3) reaffirmation of a
sovereign, stable and united Afghanistan (4) renunciation of violence (5) breaking of ties to
international terrorism and (6) respect for the Afghan Constitution, including its provisions
on human rights, and particularly women's rights. (7) The region must respect and support
the peace process and its outcome.
On 3 January 2012, i.e. just a few weeks after the Bonn Conference, the Taliban declared
publicly for the first time that they were willing to enter into a negotiation process. A liaison
office is to be set up in Qatar for that purpose. The emirate in the Arabian Gulf has for years
been playing a constructive part in efforts to resolve a number of regional conflicts.
The assassination of the chairman of the High Peace Council and former Afghan President
Burhanuddin Rabbani on 20 September 2011 had initially been a setback to the peace
efforts. On 15 April 2012 after lengthy consultation his son, Salahuddin Rabbani, was ap-
pointed by President Karzai as the new chairman. The tense relations between Afghanistan
and Pakistan following the assassination – the Afghan people blaming Pakistan for the attack
– have now eased slightly. The rapprochement is evident from two corresponding state-
ments agreed by Afghanistan and Pakistan in February 2012. On 21 February 2012 President
Karzai invited the Taliban leaders to direct talks with the Afghan Government; on 24
February 2012 Pakistan's Prime Minister Gilani called on the Taliban leaders and other
groups – explicitly including the militant Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) – to take part in an
internal Afghan reconciliation process. Once again, there were repercussions. On 13 May
2012 another leading member of the High Peace Council, Arsala Rahmani, was assassinated

 Statement by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan dated 3 January 2012, at http://www.shahamat-
                                                                                                  Page 13
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

in Kabul. The background remains unclear. The former Taliban Higher Education Minister
had supported peace talks.
Regional cooperation was particularly gratifying in 2012. At the ‘Heart of Asia’ conference
of foreign ministers in Kabul on 14 June 2012, attended by the German Foreign Minister
Guido Westerwelle, there were signs of growing willingness among Afghanistan's regional
neighbours to assume joint responsibility for a more peaceful future in the region. The first
follow-up meeting after the Istanbul Conference of 2 November 2011, chaired by Afghani-
stan, laid the foundations for a long-term process of confidence building and cooperation.
The aim of this Istanbul process is to promote constructive political and economic involve-
ment on the part of countries in the region in future developments in Afghanistan. 9 This is an
encouraging sign that, politically, the post-ISAF period has begun in Afghanistan and its
region. The personal meetings between the main foreign ministers in the region are to
continue at least once a year in the future, underpinned by practical confidence-building
The international community's long-term support for Afghanistan, agreed at the Bonn
International Conference on Afghanistan on 5 December 2011, specified at the NATO Sum-
mit in Chicago on 20-21 May 2012 in regard to security and to be formalised on 8 July in
Tokyo for Afghanistan's economic future, has evidently created more stable expectations. In
Kabul these signals have now been taken up and discussed by the region. The repositioning
of the regional players has begun.
At the start of the Kabul conference, President Karzai stressed that a stable Afghanistan
depended on stability, harmony and peace in the region and on balanced international
relations. Close relations with the USA and other countries – Karzai mentioned Germany first
here – would not be incompatible with relations with Iran or Pakistan. Afghanistan also
needed the support of the global powers, Russia and China. Only together could they
address the threat of terrorism and extremism. The Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul
said that the Istanbul Process was much more successful and productive than expected,
enjoying much greater support from the region itself. It was the most concrete and promis-
ing attempt at sincere result-oriented cooperation that the region had seen in the past
decade. Afghanistan wanted to resume its rightful place in the region – not as an issue, a
topic or a problem but as a convener in the region.
The final communiqué of the Kabul Conference contains specific agreements on annual
consultations at foreign ministerial level - the next one being in Astana in 2013 - and if need
be in the margins of the UN General Assembly, prepared at senior official level, and on the
implementation of confidence building measures in seven spheres: disaster management,
counter-terrorism measures, counter-narcotics measures, chambers of commerce, commer-
cial opportunities, regional infrastructure and education. They are to be developed, imple-
mented and monitored at expert level. In Kabul, the Federal Government offered support in
relation to regional infrastructure and chambers of commerce.

 Participants in the Istanbul Process, apart from Afghanistan, are the neighbouring countries China, Iran,
Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and other countries in the region: Azerbaijan, India, Kazakhstan,
Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq. Regional and international organisations are
also involved, such as the United Nations, EU, NATO, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and the
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and – as observers – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland,
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the UK and the USA.
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                                                                   Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

4.      Governance and institutions

Work on building up Afghanistan's essential State institutions is progressing. However,
there remains much room for improvement in governance and the rule of law. The Afghan
Government has repeatedly undertaken to make greater efforts in regard to combating
corruption, respecting human rights, good governance and development. While the first
steps have been taken in the efforts to decentralise government power, there has been
little progress in the control of corruption, in particular. However, the public, parliament
and civil society in Afghanistan are increasingly monitoring the situation and demanding

The establishment of a functioning, transparent and accountable administration is a
central challenge for the future of Afghanistan. However, the problem is the lack of even
the simplest administrative facilities and basic skills such as reading and writing. The Federal
Government has for years been involved in developing the Afghan administrative system,
e.g. by establishing an administration academy in Mazar-i-Sharif. Two regional funds set up
by the Federal Government aim to strengthen the regional and local level of administration
and help the Afghan Government to implement its National Priority Programmes (NPP).
Corruption and nepotism are among the greatest impediments to civil development. In the
Transparency International Corruption Perception Index for 2011, Afghanistan is in 180 th
place out of a total of 183 countries.10 The corrupt behaviour that led to the Kabul Bank crisis
is a typical example.11 The Afghan Government is dragging its feet over fulfilling its promises
to control corruption; there have been few tangible successes. To create specific incentives,
the Federal Government continued the practice which had begun in 2011 of paying out
development cooperation funding in tranches. However, the Afghan people themselves are
increasingly vociferous in calling for the Afghan Government to overcome corruption. This is
happening partly via stronger parliamentary control over the government, and partly by the
free press which is relatively well-developed in regional terms, and which regularly uncovers
and publicises cases of corruption. That is exemplified by the way in which parliament
summons government members suspected of corruption.12 Central and local authorities are
also increasingly under pressure to render account to the population. In April 2012, media
reports on illegal land grabbing by the local government in Nangahar Province led to days of
public demonstrations. The tribal elders closed all schools, hospitals and government
institutions for four days.

   The Kabul Bank crisis had begun with the embezzlement of almost USD 1 billion in September 2010; for a
year, it endangered the conclusion of a new IMF loan programme for Afghanistan. Only when the Afghan
Government announced substantial reform measures did the IMF agree to a new loan programme on 15
November 2011. Even though the former chairman, managing director and seven other executives were
arrested a year ago, the criminal prosecution has still not taken place.
   On 22 May 2012 the Minister for Haj and Religious Affairs was summoned. He was accused of having
unlawfully helped family members and members of the government to make the pilgrimage to Mecca. The
head of the anti-corruption authority, Aziz Ludin, was summoned on 22 April to provide information on
ministers suspected of corruption. Ludin had accused the Minister for Energy and Water, amongst others, of
illegally appropriating land, and was summoned by parliament to present evidence for an investigation. On 30
April 2012 the Interior Minister Bismillah Khan was summoned to provide information on the whereabouts of a
sum of AFN 21 million for police salaries.
                                                                                                    Page 15
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

Since the resolution of the parliamentary crisis in October 2011, the work of the Afghan
Parliament has been making progress. The first session of the lower house (Wolesi Jirga)
following the winter break took place on 21 January 2012. The upper house (Meshrano Jirga)
has also resumed its parliamentary activities. On 5 March 2012 the parliament confirmed
five ministers already in office and four new ministers, including two former deputy minis-
ters and two women. This means that the cabinet is now complete for the first time, more
than two years after the 2009 presidential elections. Since then, the lower house has
repeatedly succeeded in exercising its function of control over the government, and thus
proving its capability. The government's fiscal policy was the focus of the debates. Since
February, the parliament has summoned cabinet members to attend hearings in all cases
where their ministry spent less than 40% of its funding in the past financial year. A special
committee will now submit a proposal for future action to the plenary committee. The
budget for the current year was also not adopted until April, after parliament had rejected
the first two government drafts, partly because of the budget for the presidential palace and
the allocation of resources for the provinces, which was considered unfair. In regard to the
question of the provincial budgets, parliament has addressed one of local government's key
criticisms of the central government. In parliament's opinion, in order to exercise authority
effectively, the provinces and districts need to be given more powers, responsibilities and
the corresponding finance.
An effective and independent justice system can be developed only by long-term engage-
ment. Apart from the widespread corruption, a shortage of capacity in the judicial sphere
hampers the enforcement of the rights enshrined in the constitution and in Afghan law. The
projects financed by the Federal Government therefore centre on the next generation of
lawyers, for instance in supporting universities and the training of future judges and public
prosecutors. The judicial trainees are taught the principles of a fair trial, respect for constitu-
tional and human rights, and judicial ethics. The renowned Max Planck Institute for Compar-
ative and International Law (MPIL) is a key partner here.
As has always been the case, women and minors suffer much more often than adult men
from the weakness of justice in Afghanistan, because they usually lack economic power and
a social network. International attention and the increasingly influential Afghan women's
rights organisations have ensured that, in particular, women and minors who stand accused
are entitled to a defence counsel appointed by the court. In the past nine years the number
of such lawyers has risen from less than 250 to over 1 300. In rural areas especially, the
formal State justice system is often in competition with the informal legal systems (Islamic
Sharia law and traditional tribal law), but also the shadow justice system of the Taliban,
which may be brutal but is seen as efficient and largely free of corruption.
Afghanistan remains the world's biggest producer of raw opium and heroin. The wide-
spread corruption, the security situation and the inability to enforce the law continue to
favour the cultivation of drugs in Afghanistan. There is a direct link between instability and
opium growing: according to the Afghanistan Opium Survey 2011 published by the UNODC,
95% of the opium poppy cultivation is concentrated on nine provinces in the southern and
western regions, including the most unstable and insecure parts of the country. A multi-
pronged approach is the only way to tackle drug production. Apart from creating sustainable
alternative income sources, it is necessary to strengthen State structures to facilitate
effective prosecution. However, the opium problem cannot be seen as confined to Afghani-
stan; the underlying commercial system extends from regional transit routes and dealers to

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                                                            Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

end users in developed industrial countries. All these factors must be taken into account in
an effective strategy to control the illegal drugs trade.

5.     Civil society and human rights

Though considerable progress has been made since 2001, the human rights situation in
Afghanistan remains difficult. While it is true that Afghanistan has a comprehensive set of
constitutional rights, the current laws are not properly implemented. The reasons lie partly
in weak State institutions which are still far from complete, but also in ingrained values
deeply embedded in society, which make it particularly difficult to enforce the women's
rights attested in international law. The necessary social policy processes to encourage a
gradual change of role models will take decades rather than years. This means that
promoting human rights will be a long-term job for the Afghan Government and for the
international community. The withdrawal of the combat troops by 2014 will not alter that.

The Federal Government is aware that the Afghan State cannot always guarantee in practice
the respect for human rights guaranteed by the constitution. Breaches of human rights con-
tinue to occur in State institutions, too, especially in the police, secret services and prisons.
That is also confirmed by the report published in March 2012 by the Afghan Independent
Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), which deals with the situation in Afghan prisons and
accuses the National Directorate of Security (NDS) [secret service] and the Afghan police
(ANP), in particular, of torture. The AIHRC report centres on prisoners arrested on account of
offences in connection with the armed conflict in Afghanistan. The report confirms some
worrying findings of the autumn 2011 UNAMA report. This prompted ISAF to postpone the
handover of prisoners to certain Afghan institutions until joint international and Afghan
efforts had achieved sufficient improvement in the situation. A Human Rights Watch report
on the situation of female inmates of Afghan prisons, accused of ‘moral crimes’ under
Islamic Sharia law, shows that the enforcement of women's rights in Afghanistan often fails
because of the prosecuting authorities' inadequate knowledge or unwillingness to apply
Afghan laws. As well as that, the religious rules on family and inheritance law often differ
fundamentally from the formal legal system and from international legal rules, mostly to the
detriment of the women concerned.
After considerable effort, including on the part of the Afghan Parliament, the Law on the
Elimination of Violence against Women in Afghanistan (EVAW) has now created a legal
basis whereby domestic violence against women is also a punishable offence. However,
representatives of the police or the Afghan justice system are often unwilling or unable to
enforce the current laws in practice. For a start, many police officers are illiterate, and
cannot read the rules which they are to apply. That is why the Federal Government is
offering particular support for the education and training of police officers and judicial
personnel. That begins with literacy and with learning general principles of the rule of law,
and continues with human rights, including the rights of women and minors. Training
courses for the police and public prosecutors also deal with the appropriate treatment of
women who have run away from home.
Afghan civil society is gradually gaining influence over the Afghan Government and interna-
tional policy on Afghanistan. Civil society has now repeatedly succeeded in making im-
provements to contested proposed laws, particularly in the field of women's rights. For

                                                                                            Page 17
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

instance, civil society organisations persuaded President Karzai to withdraw his support for a
statement by the national religious council (Ulema Council) on the rights and duties of
women. At the beginning of March 2012 the religious council had proposed that the Afghan
Government should ban women from using public transport unless they were accompanied
by a close male relative, or from mixing with male colleagues in offices. Following loud
international and Afghan protests, President Karzai eventually made it clear that he backed
the equal rights for women and men specified in the Afghan constitution. Once again it is
apparent that it is not just the international community that is keeping a close eye on
whether Afghanistan fulfils its international obligations on human rights and the rights of
women: there are now also many national civil rights movements which have been formed
in the past ten years.
The participation of Afghan civil society in the Bonn International Conference on Afghani-
stan on 5 December 2011 helped to ensure that the public also perceives civil society as an
important political player. The preceding civil society forum on 2-3 December 2011 in Bonn
was the culmination of many months of self-organisation and dialogue on the part of civil
society in Afghanistan, supported by German political associations. It is now time to develop
further the process of self-organisation and structural cooperation begun in Bonn. To
continue exerting an influence on political processes at national and international level,
Afghan civil society needs to join forces and develop common positions. In the run-up to the
Tokyo Conference on 8 July 2012, the Federal Government therefore supports the participa-
tion of Afghan civil society on the lines of the Bonn International Conference on Afghanistan.
The Federal Government considers it important for civil society to take part in international
conferences on Afghanistan. That is the only way for it to offer advice and help to shape the
relevant international processes which have a decisive influence on the political route to the
future of Afghanistan. That applies in particular to the Afghan peace process. In Bonn, civil
society had already expressed the fear that the involvement of the current resistance
movement's conservative forces in Afghan politics might entail unacceptable concessions on
human rights. Even though, in principle, the majority of Afghan civil society favours the
process of reconciliation with the Taliban and other groups, many people in Afghanistan are
afraid of having to give up their hard-won rights in return for peace negotiations. The
Federal Government and the international community support the Afghan reconciliation
process – but it must not mean peace at any price. The international community gathered in
Bonn therefore agreed on fundamental principles for that peace process, including safe-
guarding the fundamental rights contained in the set of human rights in the Afghan constitu-
tion, and the rights of women in particular.

III. Reconstruction and development

6.        Economic development, income, commodities

Afghanistan is the sixth poorest country in the world. The enduring consequences of 30
years of conflict and destruction mean that it remains dependent on foreign aid. In many
parts of the country there is still a lack of basic infrastructure for transport, energy,
drinking water and irrigation. Agriculture employs around 80% of the population; on the
other hand, there is no Afghan industry worth mentioning. At the same time, the

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                                                                      Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

population of Afghanistan is growing by one million per year.13 The young, fast-growing
population wants the State to provide for a proper way of life. Apart from security, that
includes schooling and higher education, jobs, affordable homes, drinking water supplies
and health services. However, Afghanistan itself can only generate a small part of the State
revenues needed to fulfil these responsibilities. In addition, the State structures –
particularly at provincial and district level – are still too weak to provide the necessary
administrative services. Moreover, the many efforts towards the country's reconstruction
and development are hampered not only by the tense security situation, corruption and
the drugs trade, but also by illiteracy and high unemployment. Nevertheless, Afghanistan
can show that it has made considerable progress in its development.

                                                          In the United Nations Human
                                                          Development Index (HDI), which
                                                          looks at life expectancy, standard of
                                                          education and income, Afghanistan
                                                          has made clear progress since 2001
                                                          (cf. UNDP chart14). Afghanistan is
                                                          currently in 172nd place out of a
                                                          total of 187 countries in the survey.
                                                          In many areas, the country has
                                                          achieved a stage of development
                                                          hitherto unknown, e.g. in health
                                                          care, in the improvement of edu-
                                                          cational opportunities (in the last
                                                          12 months alone, 101 000 teachers
                                                          have been trained) and in sustaina-
                                                          ble economic development. There
                                                          has been equally important pro-
                                                          gress compared to previous de-
                                                          cades in that – partly as a result of
                                                          German development measures –
                                                          electricity is now almost universally
                                                          available in urban centres such as
                                                          Kabul, Mazar-i-Sharif and Pul-e-
                                                          Khumri, even though – overall -
only 30% of the Afghan population has access to electricity. Yet it is clear that the lasting
stabilisation of Afghanistan, the establishment of State structures constituted and operating
in accordance with the rule of law, self-supporting economic growth and the improvement
of the security situation are long-term tasks. The G8 summit in May 2012 also endorsed the
support for Afghanistan during the ‘transformation decade’.
Following real economic growth of over 20% (2009/10)15 and 8.4% (2010/11), the Afghan
economy is expected to grow by 5.4% in real terms in 2011/12.16 The World Bank attributes
the lower growth primarily to poor harvests due to the weather, which particularly affected
the grain harvest. Despite the extremely harsh winter of 2011/2012, the economy is
   IWF World Economic Outlook Database, April 2012.
   Up to now, Afghanistan's fiscal year has begun in March; from 2013 it will begin on 1 January.
   IWF World Economic Outlook Database, April 2012.
                                                                                                      Page 19
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

expected to pick up in the current Afghan financial year 2012/2013, which runs from March.
The service sector is projected to continue contributing about half of the economic growth.
The telecommunications sector, in particular, is growing strongly. Afghan gross domestic
product is forecast to rise to USD 18.2 billion (+ USD 2.3 billion against 2010/11)17 and
average per capita income is estimated at USD 85 (+ USD 57 against the previous year).18
As the presence of international troops in Afghanistan is scaled down in the course of the
current transition process up to the end of 2014, that will have an impact on economic
growth, not least because of the decline in job opportunities for local workers. Since
Afghanistan is also heavily dependent on support from international donors, it is becoming
increasingly important for Afghanistan to develop its own sustainable Afghan income
sources. The extensive mineral deposits – e.g. iron ore and copper, gold and petroleum, and
some of the world's largest reserves of lithium – could play a leading role here, and offer
commercially attractive prospects for foreign businesses and investors. In addition, the
mining and minerals sector has the potential to create jobs and incomes in the provinces.
The development of Afghan mineral resources is therefore a key component of the Afghan
strategy for achieving economic and financial independence. That strategy requires further
substantial investment in energy, transport infrastructure, water extraction and distribution,
and the training of mining experts. In parallel with that, bidding is in progress for the tenders
issued by the Afghan Ministry of Mines, including those for the extraction of gold and
copper. During 2012 there are likely to be further tenders for iron ore, coal and petroleum,
and for rare earths.
Under the Federal Government's development offensive and the stability pact, the volume
of the annual German support for reconstruction and development in Afghanistan was
almost doubled in 2010 to EUR 430 million per annum.
German support for civil reconstruction and development in Afghanistan continues to centre
on the following sectors: sustainable economic development, energy and drinking water
supplies, basic, vocational and higher education, health, civil aviation, culture, developing
the police force, good governance and the rule of law.
The regional focus of German engagement is in North Afghanistan, which accounts for
more than two-thirds of the total volume of support. The nature and extent of the German
support is tied to the implementation of the reforms determined during the Kabul Process
and reaffirmed at the Bonn International Conference on Afghanistan in December 2011. In
order to encourage the reform efforts by appropriate incentives, the Federal Government is
maintaining in 2012 the conditions attached to the resources for bilateral development
cooperation which already applied in the previous year. For that reason, the release of
EUR 175 million out of the total BMZ [Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and
Development] budget of EUR 240 million is conditional upon tangible, demonstrable pro-
gress on the part of the Afghan Government in controlling corruption, protecting human
rights and women's rights, and strengthening local administrative structures.
Under the Stability Pact for Afghanistan, the Federal Foreign Office budget includes around
EUR 180 million for civil development in Afghanistan. In addition, the BMZ has other
resources under the ‘Transitional aid for development and the establishment of structures’
(ESÜH, with around EUR 8.5 million planned for the current year) and the Afghanistan NGO

Page 20
                                                                  Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

facility (up to EUR 10 million per year). As the development policy engagement in Afghani-
stan has been stepped up, the number of civilian personnel in the State organisations imple-
menting development cooperation (GIZ, KfW Entwicklungsbank, consultants commissioned
by KfW Entwicklungsbank) has now risen significantly to 1 846, including 331 staff on
secondment (as at June 2012). For comparison: in March 2010 the total came to 1 333
development cooperation staff working in Afghanistan, including 236 on secondment.
The examples below give an idea of what German support for reconstruction and develop-
ment in Afghanistan has achieved in recent years.19
The growth of the private sector and job creation offer the Afghan population economic
prospects, and thus contribute towards the country's security and stability. Promotion of the
private sector is therefore one of the three central pillars of the Afghanistan National
Development Strategy (ANDS) approved in 2008. Since 2009, with Federal Government
support, more than 57 000 persons have received training in various economic activities
providing them with better earning opportunities. In addition, over 188 000 persons20 inclu-
ding 29 000 women have been granted microcredit with the support of German-Afghan
development cooperation. The micro loans enable individuals and families to establish a
livelihood. Over 1 800 credit facilities were granted to small and medium-sized enterprises.
In addition, the Federal Government supports the provision of German experts to advise
Afghan ministries in order to improve the necessary framework conditions for the private
In the past half year alone, the area of irrigated agricultural land has increased by 3 000
hectares to a total of 8 000 hectares. Since 2009, irrigation channels extending over some
52 km have been built or repaired. For a predominantly agricultural country frequently
affected by droughts, irrigation is an important way of boosting and stabilising crop yields in
the long term, and thus offering agricultural workers and their families a more reliable
source of income.
Since 2009, German aid has given 113 000 Afghan households better access to drinking
water. In the first six months of 2012 alone, access to drinking water supplies in the provinc-
es has improved for around 5 000 households. In addition, around 500 000 households are
benefiting from the Federal Government-funded project for improving water supplies in
Kabul. Germany is thus also helping to improve the health situation, since polluted drinking
water is the principal cause of many diseases which are often fatal, especially for children
and the elderly. The development of basic health care has improved access to medical
services in districts with a total population of almost 2.5 million.
Electricity is still one of Afghanistan's scarcest resources. A reliable power supply remains
the exception in Afghanistan. Nationwide, only around 30% of the population is connected
to a public electricity network. Distribution systems are often in a bad state of repair.
Frequent power failures and power rationing are the order of the day in the towns. Since
2009, construction or repair of 19 micro hydro power plants and two transformers have
given 180 000 Afghan households better access to electricity. Further power supply projects
are currently in progress, particularly to improve connections to the network for the
population of the northern provinces.

 Data from the Interdepartmental Tracking System Afghanistan.
 Since January 2011 alone, almost 98 000 persons (including over 15 000 women) and over 1 500 small and
medium-sized enterprises have been granted microfinance.
                                                                                                  Page 21
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

There was a special form of recognition for the Energy Supply for Rural Areas (ESRA) project,
funded by the Federal Government, which provides micro hydro power plants to generate
reliable electricity from renewable sources for remote regions in north-eastern Afghanistan.
In May 2012 this project was one of five international winners of the coveted Ashden Award,
presented since 2001 for projects encouraging greater use of sustainable energy.
Roads are often also lacking in Afghanistan, or they are in a deplorable state. Yet they are
crucial to the country's economic development. With the aid of the Federal Government,
over 366 km of roads have been built or repaired since 2009.
The administrative authorities, particularly in the provinces and districts, frequently lack the
capacity to carry out infrastructure projects on their own. In 2010 the Federal Government
therefore set up two regional funds (RCDF and RIDF). The funds contribute to the establish-
ment and reinforcement of efficient, citizen-oriented administrative structures. So far, the
Regional Capacity Development Fund (RCDF) has provided training in the provinces for over
600 administrative employees on subjects such as monitoring & evaluation, combating
corruption, human resources management, auditing and development planning. The
transparent implementation of infrastructure projects is boosting the confidence of the
population in State structures and in their elected representatives. Around 3 000 administra-
tive staff – including over 1 000 women – have received training since 2009 in topics relating
to administration and on the promotion of equality, human rights and counter-corruption
The Afghan education system virtually collapsed in the years of civil war and the Taliban
regime. Many schools were destroyed. Girls and women were almost entirely excluded from
access to educational institutions. That has now changed radically, yet around 70% of men
and over 90% of women still do not gain a school leaving certificate. The illiteracy rate
exceeds 70%.
There are now around 7.2 million children attending school, including 2.7 million girls.21
There is a great need for teachers. Since 2009 alone, with German support, over 90 000
primary and secondary school teachers have received basic and further training.
A key factor in improving the situation of girls and women is the prevention of domestic
violence. For that reason, the projects which the Federal Government supports include the
production of radio programmes for the general public in five provinces, aimed at preventing
domestic violence. In addition, in Mazar-i-Sharif in Balkh Province, a total of 615 women and
223 men have attended psycho-social consultations on domestic violence since 2009. An
NGO supported by Germany also offers psychosocial counselling there to a broader group of
people seeking help. This has benefited over 5 000 persons in the families of the persons
The legal training given to female Afghan police officers is also helping to promote women's
rights. In 2011 a total of 150 Afghan policewomen in the Federal Government's key provinc-
es in North Afghanistan were taught about women's rights based on the Afghan constitution
and the Koran. During their training, many of the participants became fully aware for the
first time of the constitutional rights due to them as women, and can now spread the word.

  World Bank's Afghanistan Country Overview 2012 at,,menuPK:30
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                                                             Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

At the request of the Afghan Interior Ministry, training will continue in 2012 via the projects
promoting the rule of law. The instructor, a woman, used to be an Afghan State prosecutor.
Since 2009, under the projects concerning the promotion of the rule of law, a total of
around 2 000 judges and State prosecutors have received training under programmes
concerning respect for human rights in criminal proceedings, the rights of women and
children, and family law. Almost 800 staff of local dispute settlement services (called
Huquqs) received training on legal matters.
In the second quarter of 2012 the Federal Government expanded its Stabilisation Pro-
gramme for North Afghanistan (SPNA). The SPNA covers a number of small infrastructure
measures such as roads and bridges which, being visible and rapidly implemented, are
intended to promote local stability in vulnerable districts. The projects are proposed and
prioritised by local district authorities. This also helps to strengthen local administrative
structures. The extension of this programme means that the SPNA projects now also cover
Baghlan Province, in preparation for handing over responsibility for security in the province.
More than 2 million people will derive direct benefit from the SPNA.
After the regional hospital in Mazar-i-Sharif was destroyed by fire in 2007, Germany offered
support for its rebuilding, and work began in 2008. On 12 May 2012, following completion of
the building work, the largest and most modern hospital in North Afghanistan was handed
over. The Federal Government provided funding totalling EUR 13 million for the hospital,
which has 360 beds, 21 intensive care places, 7 operating theatres, and training facilities for
over 240 students. A team of psycho-social specialists financed by the Federal Government
also has consulting rooms there. There is a huge need for psychotherapy services in Afghani-
stan. Every year, the psycho-social counsellors treat hundreds of patients and thus help the
population to come to terms with the traumatic experiences of the war years.
Now that the Taloqan Provincial Advisory Team (PAT) has been disbanded, the Federal
Government is still maintaining its engagement in Takhar Province. The beginning of May
saw the inauguration of both the German-funded Engineering Faculty at Takhar University
and the province's new court building.
Since 2012 the Federal Government has been working to develop a Faculty of Administra-
tive Studies at Balkh University in Mazar-i-Sharif. Success has been achieved in that the
Bachelor of Public Administration curriculum devised jointly by various partners (GIZ, DAAD,
Max-Planck-Institut and Afghan colleges) has already been approved by the Afghan Ministry
of Higher Education. It will form the basis for training in administration throughout Afghani-
stan. The new course has attracted a great deal of interest. More than 200 students have
enrolled for the summer semester 2012 at the Balkh University Faculty of Administrative
Studies; the number originally planned was 140. At Herat University, instead of the planned
80 students there were actually 400 who enrolled for a course in administrative studies. This
course, coordinated with the Afghan Civil Service Institute, will enhance the quality of local
public administration in the medium and long term so that it will be better prepared for the
challenges of the transformation decade.
The Federal Government is involved in the civil aviation sector in Afghanistan; for example,
it provided finance totalling EUR 37 million to rebuild the civil airport in Mazar-i-Sharif, which
will boost the impetus for growth generated by that city as the commercial centre of North
Afghanistan. It also funded the development of an airspace surveillance system (MLAT).
Revenue from overflight fees along air routes from Europe to South Asia is extremely
important to the Afghan Government and represents the second biggest source of foreign
                                                                                             Page 23
Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

exchange revenue. Now that the MLAT surveillance system has been handed over to the
Afghan authorities, the country can charge substantially more overflight fees, since the
frequency of overflights can be increased considerably in view of the improved safety
offered by the automatic system. This additional income will make the Afghan State less
dependent on international aid. The cooperation with the Afghan Ministry of Transport and
Civil Aviation, with its weak administrative structures, is proving extremely difficult. This
demonstrates that some ministries still have to a long way to go in terms of efficient, reliable

7.        Afghanistan in the run-up to the Tokyo Conference

The Bonn International Conference on Afghanistan in December 2011 laid the foundations
for international engagement for the post-2014 ‘transformation decade’. The NATO Summit
in Chicago on 20- 21 May 2012 secured the long-term funding for Afghan National Security
Forces after completion of the transition. In order to establish the financial basis for the
long-term civil engagement of the international community in Afghanistan, an inter-
national conference at ministerial level is being held in Tokyo on 8 July 2012; its central
theme is ‘A sustainable development strategy for Afghanistan’. Building on the mutual
commitments agreed in Bonn between Afghanistan and the international community, the
Tokyo conference will decide on a road map for the transformation decade (2015-2024),
underpinned by the promise of international funding. Tokyo will therefore be an important
milestone for the country's long-term development.

The Bonn Afghanistan Conference, with its final document approved by 100 countries and
international organisations, placed Afghanistan's partnership with the international commu-
nity on a clear, reliable footing for the ten years following the withdrawal of international
combat troops in 2014. The key message of the Bonn conference is: the global community
will not abandon Afghanistan after the withdrawal of international combat troops at the end
of 2014. Firm mutual commitments will see to that. Tokyo must reaffirm this clear signal.
The Federal Government will also continue to support Afghanistan in the post-transfor-
mation decade (2015-2024) in its development as a fully functioning, fiscally viable State in
the service of its citizens. The aim of the Federal Government is to maintain the German
civilian funding for Afghanistan's reconstruction and development beyond 2013 at the
current level.
For that, the Afghan Government will have to continue making progress on important re-
forms which secure Afghanistan's independence and help the Afghan people to achieve
sustainable prosperity in a stable democracy. The Afghan Government is being asked to
provide the donor community in Tokyo with evidence of plausible, measurable reforms in
governance and the control of corruption, in the judicial and administrative system, in public
finances and in improvements to the human rights situation (‘quid pro quo’). In addition, it is
to submit a clear timetable for further reform efforts. In that connection, the Afghan
Government has presented a strategy paper setting out its vision for the development of
Afghanistan during the transformation decade. It mentions existing successes, but also
shows the effort that the Afghan State still needs to make.

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                                                                     Progress report on Afghanistan June 2012

For instance, the international community is waiting for Afghanistan to make visible progress
in fulfilling the IMF's demands concerning the resolution of the Kabul Bank crisis. In addition,
the Afghan Government is being asked to take appropriate measures to gradually increase
its own share in Afghan public revenues. Even though, according to its own figures, the
Afghan Government has succeeded in boosting public revenues by 58% since 2009,22 the aid
given by international donors in the 2010/11 tax year still accounted for around 98% of
Afghanistan's gross domestic product. 23 The reduction in dependence on international
donors is a vital basis for the future of a sovereign Afghan State.
In return for the Afghan reform efforts, the donor community will give definite funding
commitments to back the promises made in Bonn concerning long-term civilian support for
Afghanistan. So long as the Afghan Government fulfils its promises, the international
community will also stand by the commitments which it entered into at the Kabul Confer-
ence in July 2010. That includes better targeting and coordination of its support, in order to
further enhance aid effectiveness.
In the opinion of the Federal Government, the development of a self-reliant private sector
and the involvement of civil society in informed political opinion are crucial for Afghanistan
to end its dependence on the international community. The Federal Government therefore
supported the idea of involving the private sector and civil society in the preparations and in
the conference itself.
On 28 June 2012 a business conference will be held in New Delhi, enabling countries in the
region to have meetings with enterprises. There are to be discussions with the Afghan
Government on the political measures necessary to improve the investment climate, and the
findings will then be presented at the Tokyo Conference. A better framework for the private
sector is a precondition for further investment and sustainable economic growth in Afghani-
If Afghanistan is to develop further as a pluralist democracy, it needs a lively civil society.
The momentum generated before and during the Bonn International Conference on
Afghanistan with the civil society process was maintained. By analogy with the process of
involving Afghan civil society in the Bonn Conference, civil society will also play an active part
in the Tokyo Conference and present its own statements setting out its views. Jointly with
other donors, Germany supports the sending of representatives of Afghanistan's civil society
organisations to the Tokyo Conference.

     ‘Supporting Self-Reliance in Afghanistan’. Afghan Government strategy paper, 3 May 2012.
     World Bank: Afghanistan in Transition: Looking Beyond 2014, Volume 2: Main Report, May 2012.
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