NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

Inteqal: Transition to Afghan lead

Inteqal – the Dari and Pashtu word for transition – is the process by which the lead responsibility for security in Afghanistan is gradually being transitioned from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to the Afghan National Security Forces. Implementation is well underway with Afghan forces taking the lead for security for around 87 per cent of the Afghan population. The aim is for Afghan forces to have full responsibility for security across the country by the end of 2014. This target was set at the 2010 NATO Summit in Lisbon and confirmed by Allied leaders at the Chicago Summit in May 2012.

  • Transition Tranches

    Transition Tranche 1

    On 22 March 2011, President Karzai announced the first set of Afghan provinces and districts to start transition. This decision was based upon operational, political and economic considerations, drawing on the assessment and recommendations of the Afghan government and NATO/ISAF through the Joint Afghan-NATO Inteqal Board (JANIB).

    Transition Tranche 2

    On 27 November 2011, following the decision-making process above, President Karzai announced the second set of Afghan provinces, districts and cities for transition implementation.

    Transition Tranche 3

    On 13 May 2012, President Karzai announced the third set of areas to enter the transition process, covering over 75 per cent of the Afghan population. This decision marked the beginning of transition in every one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, including every provincial capital, covering almost two-thirds of the country's districts.

    Transition Tranche 4

    On 31 December 2012, President Karzai announced the fourth group of Afghan provinces, cities and districts to enter the transition process. With this decision, 23 provinces out of 34 have fully entered transition and 87 per cent of the population now lives in areas where ANSF is in the lead for security.

    Transition Tranche 5

    On 18 June 2013, President Karzai announced the launch of the fifth and final tranche of transition. Once this decision has been fully implemented, the 11 remaining provinces will fully enter into transition and Afghan forces will be in the lead for security across the whole country.

  • Transition Process explained

    Transition draws on the JANIB’s recommendations, which are based on a thorough assessment of the security, governance and development situation on the ground.

    The following elements are taken into consideration as part of the decision-making process:

      • the capability of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) to shoulder additional security tasks with less assistance from ISAF;
      • the level of security allowing the population to pursue routine daily activities;
      • the degree of development of local governance, so that security will not be undermined as ISAF assistance is reduced; and
      • whether ISAF force level and posture are readjusted as ANSF capabilities increase and threat levels diminish.

    For transition to be successful, the Afghan National Security Forces, under effective Afghan civilian control, need to assume their security responsibility on a sustainable and irreversible basis – albeit with some level of continued support from ISAF.

    The transition implementation can take up to 18 months for each area, depending on conditions on the ground.

    ISAF principles for transition

    At the NATO Lisbon Summit in November 2010, ISAF Heads of State and Government agreed a list of principles which guide ISAF’s gradual shift from a combat to an increasingly supporting role.

    These principles, which have since been fully incorporated in the transition implementation process, include:

      • ensuring a better alignment of NATO/ISAF assistance with Afghan national priority programmes;
      • working through increasingly capable Afghan institutions;
      • adjusting ISAF’s troop profile and configuration by reinvesting some of the transition dividend, where appropriate, to meet critical security, training and mentoring needs;
      • further strengthening Afghan National Security Forces capacity; and
      • supporting the evolution of the international civilian effort, including that of the ISAF Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), to enable greater Afghan capacity and leadership.

    Evolution of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs)

    In June 2011, Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) nations agreed a set of principles for the evolution and ultimate dissolution of their PRTs. PRTs have evolved, shifting their efforts from direct delivery to providing technical assistance and building the capacity of provincial and district governments to provide essential services to the Afghan people. By the time transition is completed, all PRTs will have handed over their functions to the Afghan government, traditional development actors, non-governmental organisations and the private sector, and will have phased out.

  • Key Dates

    28 August 2008

    Lead security responsibility for Kabul city transferred to Afghan forces.

    19 November 2009

    President Karzai, having won a second presidential term, expresses his ambition to see the Afghan National Security Forces take the lead security responsibility across Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

    20 July 2010

    Kabul Conference; the Joint Afghan-NATO Inteqal Board (JANIB) is established as the mechanism to assess districts and provinces for Transition.

    20 November 2010

    NATO Lisbon Summit; the Inteqal process is agreed between the Afghan government and NATO.

    22 March 2011

    Afghan New Year; President Karzai announces the first set of Afghan provinces and districts to start the transition process.

    17 July 2011

    First transition ceremony takes place in Bamyan Province.

    27 November 2011

    President Karzai announces the second set of Afghan provinces, districts and cities to start the transition process.

    13 May 2012

    President Karzai announces the third tranche of transition.

    31 December 2012

    President Karzai announces the fourth set of Afghan provinces, districts and cities to start the transition process.

    18 June 2013

    President Karzai announces the fifth and final tranche of transition.

Video

Afghan forces take the lead for Afghanistan

18 Jun. 2013

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen mark the fifth and final tranche of transition. With this decision, Afghan National Security Forces will take the lead for security across the whole of the country.

  • Play audio Afghan forces take the lead for Afghanistan

    18 Jun. 2013

    President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen mark the fifth and final tranche of transition. With this decision, Afghan National Security Forces will take the lead for security across the whole of the country.

  • Play audio Afghan transition enters final stages

    17 Jun. 2013

    In Afghanistan, the Afghan forces are taking responsibility for the whole country. For Afghans, though, the transition of their country has a wider importance. With a presidential election planned for 2014, the country has many other issues to address.

  • Play audio Provincial centres help ally Afghan forces

    21 Dec. 2012

    The operational coordination program aims to help unify the Afghan security forces and this Swedish lead provincial centre in Balkh has seen much success.

  • Play audio Jowzjan, a natural transition?

    08 May. 2012

    More and more areas of Afghanistan are transitioning to Afghan security control in preparation of the start of the coalition drawdown in 2014. We profile Jowzjan province in northern Afghanistan.

  • Play audio Jowzjan`s Soldiers

    26 Apr. 2012

    Colonel Gulbahar leads the men of the 3rd Kandak, 1st Brigade in Jowzjan. The capital of the province was handed over to Afghan forces in January. Since then, security has been stable.

  • Play audio Moving On In Kapisa and Surobi

    10 Apr. 2012

    Despite an attack on French trainers by two rogue Afghan soldiers, the French and the Afghan army have managed to maintain a good working relationship. The French are based north from Kabul in the province of Kapisa and the district of Surobi.

Last updated: 18-Jun-2013 11:42