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Presidential Decree on the Creation of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force

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The President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Decree on the Creation of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force 

February 2018

[AAN working translation]

The following actions will be undertaken in order to improve the security situation, provide better security services to the people of Afghanistan, and establish the Afghan National Army Territorial Force with the aim of changing the defensive posture of the National Army to an offensive oneand extending security to all districts: 

  1. After evaluating outcomes from the pilot [programme], theAfghan National Army Territorial Force shall be created, as a contingent force to the National Army, with an estimated thirty-six thousand (36,652) personnel. 
  2. Afghan National Army Territorial Force personnel will be an integrated and essential constituent of the National Army. They will be recruited in accordance with relevant laws, rules and regulations from districts where they live. They will be trained within the framework of the National Army and deployed under the command and control of experienced National Army cadre.
  3. The Ministry of Defense of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will establish several pilot companies (tolai) of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force in the fourth quarter of 1396 (the month of Delw) [21 January to 20 February 2018]. Long-term planning for the creation of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force will proceed based on [lessons learned from] their experience. Details are specified in the six (6) articles attached to this decree. 
  4. The Deputy Chief of the National Security Council Office on Armed Forces Affairs shall monitor the implementationof this decree and provide regular reports on its progress to the meetings of the National Security Council. 

Attachment to the Decree of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on the Creation of the AfghanNational Army Territorial Force

Article One: Tashkil and Regulations

  1. Establishment and Tashkil of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force: The Ministry of Defense shall undertake the following actions to establish the Afghan National Army Territorial Force:
  2. Structure and organise the Afghan National Army Territorial Force on the model of the National Army, in companies (tolai) and battalions (kandak);
  3. Create a pilot [programme] of Afghan National Army Territorial Force companies (tolai) alongside National Army battalions (kandak), or under the respective battalion’s protection;
  4. If an aforementioned company is upgraded to a battalion, these forces will be included, as an Afghan National Army Territorial Force battalion, in the tashkilof the National Army brigade (lewa) posted to that province;
  5. The leadership cadre for Territorial Force companies shall be selected from the National Army. While serving with the Afghan National Army Territorial Force, the aforementioned cadre will be considered part of National Army staff and will receive full salary and benefits provided to National Army personnel;
  6. As the Afghan National Army Territorial Force expands, its cadre and leadership can be deployed to parts of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces within the framework of the Ministry of Defence [unclear what this means];
  7. The cadre and leadership of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force at the level of platoon and higher will be selected from the National Army and those at levels lower than platoon, such as squads, should be selected from the National Army Territorial Force;
  8. During the pilot phase of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force, the National Army Brigades support forces shall meet their needs;
  9. All equipment for the Afghan National Army Territorial Force shall be provided in accordance with their tashkiland staffing.
  10. Local Recruitment: All Afghan National Army Territorial Force personnel will be recruited, and serve, in the districts in which they live. The leadership cadre and commanders of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force are excluded from this order. 

National Training:  The Afghan National Territorial Force will receive basic and on going training to a professional level by qualified National Army cadre in National Army training centres. 

  • Leadership and Command: The current cadre and commanders of the Afghan National Army will have command and control responsibility in order to ensure the effectiveness and stability of the National Army Territorial Force.
  • Cost-effective and Sustainable: The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces are designed to be cost-effective and sustainable so that the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan will have the long-term ability to meet their expenses. The Afghan National Army Territorial Force is one such cost-effective and sustainable force. Their cost, as compared to the National Army, will be lower without impacting their effectiveness and duties. 

Article Two: The Creation of a Pilot Territorial Army, Location and Timeline for Their Creation

  1. The Ministry of Defense shall establish the Afghan National Army Territorial Force pilot [programme] in several locations in the fourth quarter of 1396 (the month of Dalw) [21 January to 20 February 2018]; and develop a long-term plan for creating the Afghan National Army Territorial Force based on [lessons learned] from this experience. 
  2. The Ministry of Defense shall select locations for the establishment of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force [pilot programme].

Article Three: Responsibilities and Duties of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force

  1. Duties and Responsibilities: As local security forces, The Afghan National Army Territorial Force, will have the following responsibilities in areas under the full control or partial control of the government:
  2. Provide security for areas that have been cleared of enemies by the National Army and Special Forces Units and prevent the enemy from re-entering these areas;
  3. Be a source of information for the National Army and Special Forces on activities of the enemy in the area;
  4. Perform duties in areas under the control of the government;
  5. Perform duties in areas under the control of the enemy only with close support from the National Army;
  6. Establish stable relations between government and people through the district authorities;
  7. Provide security services at the district level and below;
  8. Prevent the movement and activities of the enemy in the region;
  9. Secure and protect key government infrastructure in the region, including highways;
  10. Protect and defend the area until reinforcements or supporting forces arrive;
  11. Help victims of natural disasters and emergencies;
  12. If necessary, ensure the safety of events or ceremonies in the area.
  13. Duties the Afghan National Army Territorial Force Will Not Undertake: The Afghan National Army Territorial Force will not undertake the following duties:
  14. Independently undertake duties in areas under the control of the enemy;
  15. Undertake independent offensive manoeuvres;
  16. Dispatch and execute duties in provinces, districts and other villages (outside their area of responsibility);
  17. Perform duties in offensive operations against large enemy groups;
  18. Perform the duties of rapid reaction forces, in the place of forces from other districts;
  19. Carry out dangerous operations such as strikes, arrests and rescue operations;
  20. Perform the duties of the city police.

Article Four: Leadership Cadre

  1. Selection Requirements: The leadership cadre of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force are members of the National Army personnel during their posting and until the end of their assignment. The Ministry of Defense shall recruit them in line with the following considerations. [They must]: 
  2. Be an officer or sergeant of the National Army;
  3. Be approved by the commanders of the relevant corps;
  4. Have sufficient relevant experience and skills;
  5. Be fluent in the languages of the [local] Afghan National Army Territorial Force;
  6. Must not be from the same district as the pilot [programme] Afghan National Army Territorial Force to which they are assigned.
  7. Education and Training: The Ministry of Defense shall direct the cadre members to the necessary training for their assigned duties after they are selected and before taking up their assignments as leaders of Afghan National Army Territorial Force.
  8. Salary and Privileges: Officers and sergeants who are selected as cadre and commanders of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force will receive the same salary and benefits as they did in their previous assignment. The Ministry of Defence shall make all necessary arrangements to pay salaries and benefits. 

Article Five: Recruitment Requirements and Privileges for Afghan National Army Territorial Force

  • Recruitment Conditions: The Afghan National Army Territorial Force personnel will be recruited according to the following conditions. [He must]:
  • Be a resident of the same district where the Afghan National Army Territorial Force is established;
  • Be between 20 to 40 years of age;
  • Pass all National Army health standards successfully;
  • Meet all Ministry of Defense assessment criteria based on his records and credentials successfully;
  • Individuals who have previously served with the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces as enlisted personnel [صفوف] may retain their [previous] rank and can join the Afghan National Territorial Army Force after a revaluation by investigative bodies, in line with National Army recruitment policies, and after obtaining guarantees from local representatives, elders and district and provincial councils. Likewise, persons who have served in the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces as non-commissioned officers [چوکات] for one year — up to the level of squad commander – can retain their [previous] rank contingent on successfully completing professional training and receiving approval fromthe cadre or commanders of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force. 
  • Training and Higher Education: Individuals recruited to the Afghan National Army Territorial Force will receive training at National Army regional training centres under the supervision of the Ministry of Defense. 
  • Afghan National Territorial Army Force personnel who have served one-year successfully and completed professional training can join the National Army after their nomination and endorsement by the Afghan National Army Territorial Force commanders. After being recruited into the National Army, they can maintain their rank, but cannot be promoted to commanders and leadership cadre of the Afghan National Army Territorial Force in the same district;
  • Afghan National Army Territorial Force personnel will receive on-going professional training up to squad commander level;
  • The Ministry of Defense shall assign experienced personnel to regional training centres to train Afghan National Army Territorial Force pilot [programme] Personnel.
  • Salary, Benefits and Other Expenditure:
  • National Army Territorial Force personnel will receive salaries and benefits equivalent to 75 per cent of an ordinary National Army soldier;
  • National Army Territorial Force personnel will receive all medical benefits which are afforded to those serving in the National Army;
  • Budgetary expenditures (salaries, benefits, engineering reinforcements, uniforms and other equipment) for National Army Territorial Forces soldiers will be paid from the Ministry of Defence National Defense budget by the CSTC-A ([United States] Combined Security Transition Command- Afghanistan) Command;
  • Benefits for martyrs, captives, the missing, and the disabled are the same as those of the National Army;
  • Technical personnel of ANDSF who have successfully completed at least one period of servicewill receive the same salary as National Army Territorial Forces upon joining the National Army Territorial Force (except at cadre and leadership positions).

Article Six: Command and Control, and Promotions:

  1. Command and Control:
  2. Brigade commanders are responsible for command and control of the National Army Territorial Force as per the chain of command. In accordance with the chain of command, brigade commanders will assign National army battalion commanders to command and control pilot Afghan National Army companies established in the area;
  3. Cadre and leadership of the National Army will be assigned to the battalions and brigades where pilot companies of the National Army Territorial Force are established. 
  4. Protection and Survival: 
  5. The commanders of the corps are responsible for assigning one brigade to protection and survival duties and providing essential logistical services to the National Army Territorial Force as a Rapid Reaction Force. This process will be activated quickly upon request. 

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ANA Presidential Decree Afghan National Army Territorial Force