Report Title: Afghanistan
Rapporteur: Wolfgang Hellmich
In his February 9, 2017 testimony before the United States Congress, General John W. Nicholson, Jr., Commander of Resolute Support Mission (RSM) and of US Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A), told the US Senate Armed Services Committee the battle theatre in Afghanistan is at a “stalemate” (Nicholson, 2017). A review of the Afghan security sector in 2016 reinforces this understanding: the balance of forces on the ground may continue to favour the government in Kabul, but a lasting peace remains far off. Still, the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) are increasingly optimised for defending against the threat posed by the myriad insurgent and terrorist groups in the country, reinforcing hope the ultimate goal of a peaceful and prosperous Afghanistan remains achievable.