(NSI News Source Info) Kabul - August 28, 2008: A lot of money is being spent on training Afghan troops. Afghan security forces have begun taking over command of the capital, Kabul, from the Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf). With this, the security operation in the capital will become Afghan-led. It is a largely symbolic move and there will be little immediate impact on foreign forces still patrolling parts of the city. Isaf is keen to play down the transfer of power for fear that insurgents will try to destabilise the process.
Little difference President Hamid Karzai announced in June that responsibility for the capital's security would be handed over to the Afghan government, but there is no ceremony planned for the handover process, which the Afghan ministry of defence says will take a few days. More than 60,000 foreign troops are deployed in Afghanistan. It is a symbolic move to show the confidence in Afghanistan's security forces. There will be little difference to the number of Afghan and international troops on the streets of Kabul. The police and intelligence personnel at the National Directorate of Security are already credited for reducing the number of suicide attacks in the capital and for preventing insurgents from getting a foothold in Kabul. There are more than 60,000 foreign troops in Afghanistan and an intensive programme has been put in place to train and mentor an Afghan army of 80,000 by the beginning of 2009. Efforts to train and equip the Afghan National Police are much further behind, but billions of dollars are being ploughed into the security forces - an investment which it is hoped will eventually allow international forces to pull out of the country.