Meghan Spilka O’Keefe from our Procurement team has co-authored a study for the CDA Institute that explains and assesses Canada’s ongoing involvement with the NATO training mission in Afghanistan in the context of Canadian national interests.

The study is available at the following link:

http://cda-cdai.ca/cdai/uploads/cdai/cdai_ntma_21Dec2012.pdf

The study concludes that over the next 18 months two successes must be achieved in order to optimize Canadian national interests: (i) a quantifiable improvement in Afghan security must be demonstrated through the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan (NTM-A); and, (ii) that a sustainable post-2014 structure be put in place. However, to obtain Canadian support for any post-2014 initiatives or involvement, the government will need to better communicate those interests to Canadians.

In spite of the many achievements of the mission, the main indicator of mission success of NTM-A cannot be measured simply by the output of its schools or the quantitative strength that has been achieved. Persistent corruption within the Afghan government presents a significant barrier towards establishing quantifiable increases in Afghan security as well as severe impediments on the ability to strategically communicate any successes of the mission.

A number of key recommendations are placed to government:

1) Canadians require broader exposure to the role being played by the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan and the linkage between success of training mission and Canadian interests in the wider region;

2) Funding should continue past 2014 – without continued financial assistance any gains made in Canada’s decade long investment risks being lost;

3) Post-2014 funding should be contingent upon quantifiable improvements in financial management, corruption, security, and rule of law; and,

4) A modest training and mentoring capability should remain post-2014 similar to minor training assistance and mentoring missions presently conducted by the CF elsewhere in the world.