Response provided to The Australian on 21 November 2017 regarding the recent Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report
21 November 2017
The Australian Government is aware of the recent SIGAR report.
The Australian Government carefully manages our contribution to Afghan sustainment funding.
Alongside Australia’s military commitment to the Resolute Support mission, Australia also contributes to the Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund as documented in the Defence Annual Report. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides further support the to fund police salaries through the United Nations Law and Order Trust Fund.
Defence and DFAT maintain a high degree of oversight and influence around the ANA Trust Fund and the Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan, including through the Australian Embassy in Kabul.
Defence approves each ANA Trust Fund project on a case-by-case basis. Once funded, project progress is monitored through regular reporting provided by the NATO ANA Trust Fund Office.
The ANA Trust Fund is central to efforts to secure the long-term stability of Afghanistan. Since 2010, the ANA Trust Fund has funded important capability projects such as:
- provision of Australian developed and manufactured equipment to counter improvised explosive devices through Project REDWING
- refurbishment of Afghan Air Force utility helicopters
- English language training
- initiatives to support increased female participation in the ANDSF, including through new facilities and training.
Australia acknowledges Afghan security forces will require more time and assistance to develop further their capabilities to enable them to meet future security challenges.
The US, along with coalition partners such as Australia, has already implemented measures to address the points highlighted in the SIGAR report. This includes implementing a conditions-based approach to security sector reform, as well as focusing on social and economic development, including improving civilian policing capability.
The Afghan Government has adopted a Four Year Roadmap to enhance the capability of its security forces, improve leadership and combat corruption, demonstrating its commitment to work with coalition partners in pursuit of these objectives.