In part two of their discussion, CNA counterterrorism experts Alex Powell and Jon Schroden sit down with James Cunningham the lead author for two comprehensive lessons learned reports published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
They discuss some positive takeaways from the development of the Afghan National Security Forces and what lessons the U.S. government can learn from Afghanistan.
Timestamps by Topic
1:17: Were there effective approaches to developing the Afghan National Security Forces?
7:05: What lessons should the U.S. government learn from Afghanistan?
12:59: Will the U.S. government make any actionable change because of these lessons?
James Cunningham is the lead author and project lead for two comprehensive lessons learned reports published by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction focused on reconstructing the ANDSF. For over 16 years, James has worked Afghanistan-related issues as a member of the Intelligence community and providing independent oversight of U.S. reconstruction programming.
Jonathan Schroden is the Director of CNA's Countering Threats and Challenges Program (CTCP), whose mission is to support US government efforts to better understand and counter state and non-state threats and challenges. Schroden has deployed or traveled to Afghanistan 13 times.
Alex Powell is an expert on terrorist group tactics, counterterrorism, and special operations forces (SOF). He has worked extensively on security issues in Afghanistan, traveling there numerous times to conduct assessments of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
SIGAR Website: https://www.sigar.mil/
Divided Responsibility: Lessons from U.S. Security Sector Assistance Efforts in Afghanistan, June 2019 (https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-19-39-LL.pdf)
Reconstructing the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan, September 2017 (https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-17-62-LL.pdf)