NATO contributes to enhanced civilian oversight of Afghan armed forces
A pilot course on civilian oversight of the armed forces (COAF) involving Afghan experts took place from 17 to 21 September 2018 at the ADA University in Baku, Azerbaijan. NATO Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller opened the event and chaired the graduation ceremony.
Senior Programme Manager from NATO Political Affairs and Security Policy Division Mrs Frédérique Jacquemin, and Colonel Stan Anton from the National Defence University Carol I, Bucharest led the course, which is part of the NATO Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) with Afghanistan.
Participants included Afghan high officials from the Ministries of Defence, Foreign Affairs and Interior, as well as from the Office of the National Security Council (ONSC), the Police and the Marshal Fahim National Defense University (MFNDU). Deputy Minister of Strategic Planning and Policy at the Ministry of Interior Mr Masood Ahmad Azizi headed the Afghan delegation. Women also participated for the first time, including the Director General for Human Rights and Gender Integration, the Head of Gender, Zone 101 Kabul Police Command, and the Head of Counter Narcotics, ONSC.
Four Afghan professors led the course on COAF. During this event, the curriculum was reviewed and adapted with the support of defence education experts from Bulgaria, Canada and Romania and also thanks to the interaction between all participants. Specific chapters devoted to gender issues will be incorporated the curriculum.
Launched in 2010, DEEP Afghanistan aims to foster close cooperation with Afghan defence and military institutions, under the auspices of the ONSC. In 2018, this cooperation expanded with the creation of the United Training Education and Doctrine Command that brings all Afghan training institutions under a single, unified command.
Ongoing cooperation between NATO and Afghanistan comprises various aspects related to education and training. In the framework of DEEP, NATO advises Afghanistan on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the defence and military domain in the form of peer-to-peer conversation. NATO is also helping the country to develop curricula (”what to teach”) and faculty development (“how to teach”).
Military education is considered by Afghan authorities as a key element to bring forward more concrete cooperation with NATO. All these initiatives are part of President Ghani’s four-year roadmap to establish sustainable and capable national armed forces in Afghanistan, able to maintain peace and security.
DEEP Afghanistan is also helping the country with the creation of education and development policy and programmes to the civilians within the MOD and the security and defence sector. Civilian-military relations and civilian oversight are dependent upon developing a core of competent and ethical civilian national security professionals.
Since the beginning of DEEP Afghanistan, Azerbaijan has played an active role in helping NATO to facilitate the overall implementation of the Programme. The ADA University hosted several DEEP Afghanistan events and shared their own expertise. This support has been very valuable notably in terms of regional cooperation and mutual understanding between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan on key strategic issues like military education.
“We believe that transfer of knowledge, skills and experience through such educational activities and trainings are crucial for establishing well-rooted and long-lasting stability and security in Afghanistan as well as in the broader region,” said Dr Rahman Shahhuseynli Director, Office of International Affairs, ADA University.
DEEPs are tailored programmes through which the Alliance advises partners on how to build, develop and reform educational institutions in the security, defence and military domain. Projects are currently running in 12 countries: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1, Tunisia and Ukraine.
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