Supporting civilian oversight of the Afghan National Army and Police

Officials from the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces (ANDSF) are working with counterparts from NATO member and partner countries to improve the teaching related to the civilian oversight of the armed forces. Together with NATO, Azerbaijan recently hosted a first expert workshop to support curriculum development.

Afghan Army and Police instructors draft new curricula for their schools on civilian oversight with the help of NATO experts from the Romanian National Defence University and Bulgarian National Defence Academy.

Organised as part of the Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) with Afghanistan, the workshop took place at the ADA University, Baku, Azerbaijan, from 28 to 30 March 2016. It was supported by experts from the Romanian National Defence University and the Bulgarian National Defence Academy.

The event initiated cooperation within Afghan defence education institutions in the field of civilian oversight. This activity supported the sharing of lessons learned by different countries and their integration in national strategic planning. The Afghan instructors participating examined draft curricula for a stand-alone course designed to introduce senior army and police officials to the community of practice on civilian oversight.

“This was an invaluable opportunity for the participants of the workshop to equip themselves with the right tools and skills to develop curricula that can respond to the specific needs of the ANDSF,” said Colonel Bismillah Ramaki, the Director of the Military Sciences Department at Afghanistan’s Marshal Fahim National Defence University. “With the help of the facilitators and professors from NATO countries, we met the targets of the workshop and are now returning home with a sense of achievement.”

“This workshop, along with educational scholarships and other training programmes at ADA, are aimed at providing non-military assistance to Afghanistan by Azerbaijan in order to achieve peace and stability,” said Fariz Ismayilzade, Vice-Rector, ADA University.

This first curriculum development workshop for Afghanistan elevated peer-to-peer exchange with NATO experts from Bulgaria and Romania on curriculum and faculty development in the realm of civil-military relations,” explained Colonel Stan Anton, DEEP Afghanistan Academic Coordinator and Director of the Defence and Strategic Studies Centre at the Romanian National Defence University. “This enabled Afghan academic staff to incorporate new learning areas into programmes of studies at different levels of their Professional Military Education system, in order to support the overall national democratic process."

DEEP is a tailored programme through which NATO supports partners in their efforts to develop and modernise education institutions that deal with security, defence and military affairs. Building the capacity of the ANDSF in critical areas of need, through defence education, is an important element of NATO’s Enduring Partnership with Afghanistan launched at the Lisbon Summit in November 2010.

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