'Enduring Challenge'

By Christopher J. Castelli / July 12, 2013 at 4:56 PM

Afghan forces have capability gaps and will face an "enduring challenge" attempting to maintain security in all parts of the country, including remote, mountainous areas threatened by insurgents, Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs said Thursday in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"Yes, there are gaps," Lavoy said. "Today, the Afghan national army and the police are not totally self-sustainable entities capable of doing everything." NATO forces are "providing critical support and assistance," he added. Although the Afghan army and police are becoming more self sufficient, the "biggest gaps today" are in the defense and interior ministries. "They need a human capital strategy. They need to manage contracts, payrolls, food, fuel, other logistics, planning intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, etc.," he said.