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Cablegate: Cstc-a Police Census: A First-Ever Head Count

VZCZCXRO2543
PP RUEHDBU RUEHIK RUEHPOD RUEHPW RUEHYG
DE RUEHBUL #3310/01 2731115
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 301115Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY KABUL
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0642
INFO RUCNAFG/AFGHANISTAN COLLECTIVE
RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/OSD WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUMICEA/JICCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/COMSOCCENT MACDILL AFB FL
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4223
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO 3674

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 KABUL 003310

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/FO DAS GASTRIGHT, SCA/A, S/CRS, S/CT,
EUR/RPM, INL/CIVPOL
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR AID/ANE, AID/DCHA/DG,
NSC FOR JWOOD
OSD FOR SHIVERS
CENTCOM FOR CSTC-A, CG CJTF-82, POLAD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: MARR SNAR PGOV AF
SUBJECT: CSTC-A POLICE CENSUS: A FIRST-EVER HEAD COUNT

-------
Summary
-------

1. (SBU) From August 20 to September 5, Task Force Phoenix
conducted a survey to verify the existence of Uniform, Border
and Civil Order police on the ground in Afghanistan,
comparing Ministry of Interior (MOI) payroll records with
those present for duty. The survey reviewed payroll lists in
81 percent of the police districts throughout the country.
The other 19 percent of districts were not surveyed, either
because of their remoteness or security concerns. The survey
verified the existence of 76 percent of the 45,731 police
listed on the payrolls for the districts surveyed: in other
words, 76 percent of the police in 81 percent of the
districts were verified. On September 23, Combined Security
Transition Command ) Afghanistan (CSTC-A) Commander Major
General Robert Cone briefed the international community on
the results of the survey. While all acknowledged the limits
of the methodology, there was general agreement that the
survey represents the first solid data on police presence in
the field and that the show rate was much better than many
had expected based on past anecdotal information. End
summary.

----------
Background
----------

2. (SBU) In recent months, police development planning has
been increasingly hampered by uncertainty over the number of
police on the ground. MOI personnel and payroll offices have
reported varying figures for the same district, often
seriously at odds with claims by local chiefs of police, the
2007 Tashkil (staffing plan) and the observations of PRT
officers. Although unable to provide a convincing account of
police in service, MOI interlocutors routinely press for
higher police pay and new allowances (e.g., danger pay and an
increased food allowance). Against that backdrop and
otherwise poor payroll accountability, Law and Order Trust
Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) donors have been reluctant to
adopt new commitments. Within the Security Operations Group
and an ad hoc Afghan National Police (ANP) Pay Task Force
chaired by UNAMA, the topic of poor payroll accountability
festered into open discontent, while some partners in the
international community (IC) estimated that as few as 40
percent of police listed in payroll records were actually
serving, at least in some districts.

3. (SBU) Between August 20 and September 5, Combined Security
Transition Command Afghanistan (CSTC-A) conducted a head
count of police in most districts, with some assistance from
IC partners (e.g., the British in Helmand, the Canadians in
Kandahar and the Dutch in Uruzgan). Teams visited districts
with no more than 72 hours notice and compared police by name
against payroll records, the 2007 Tashkil and MOI personnel
numbers. Individual police were physically verified and were
not counted if on leave, sick, AWOL or deceased. Teams also
verified individuals by their police ID cards, where
available. Security and logistical considerations in some
districts precluded visits by census teams. Surveyors did
not visit the provinces of Badakhshan, Daikundi, Nurestan,
Bamyan or Nimroz. Parts of Badghis, Ghor, Ghazni and Helmand
were also excluded.

------------------------------
Results: Better than Expected
------------------------------

4. (SBU) Surveyors were able to account for 76 percent of the
police on payroll in the districts surveyed: 80 percent of
the 50,215 Afghan Uniform Police (AUP), 55 percent of 8,748

KABUL 00003310 002 OF 003


the Afghan Border Police (ABP) and all of the 518 Afghan
National Civil Order Police (ANCOP).

5. (SBU) Verified AUP numbers in the high-conflict south and
east were 81 and 85 percent of those on payroll in districts
surveyed, respectively. As expected, numbers were even
higher in Kabul and the central region (where better
implementation of the Electronic Payments System inhibits
payroll fraud). Surprisingly, however, the relatively calm
north and west did more poorly, with 76 percent of AUP
verified in the west and 65 percent in the north.

6. (SBU) The ABP were particularly difficult to count, owing
largely to their remoteness: surveyed districts included
only 55 percent of those on payroll. Of those surveyed, 87
percent were verified as being on duty, or 47 percent of the
total ABP on payroll.

-----------
Other Notes
-----------

7. (SBU) Placed side by side with both MOI payroll figures
and the 2007/1386 Tashkil, the survey reveals some striking
imbalances. For example, The conflict-riven eastern
provinces are authorized 8,361 police positions, while MOI
payroll contains 3,110 individuals, of whom 2,651 were
physically verified; thus, 32 percent of authorized positions
were verified as being filled, suggesting severe difficulties
with recruitment. (In the south, no less volatile, figures
were rather better: against 8,410 authorized positions, MOI
has 7,688 on payroll, and 6,235 were verified -- thus, 74
percent of authorized positions were filled.) In the
northern provinces, 7,833 positions are authorized, 9,505
police are paid, and 6,193 were verified, suggesting
significant payroll irregularities. The 2007/1386 Tashkil
authorizes 70,729 police positions in all, excluding the
11,271 Afghan National Auxiliary Police (ANAP) positions.

8. (SBU) While the police ID-card program is still struggling
to register police in some areas, it has made real strides,
with 64,379 registered and 43,275 cards printed as of
September 25. Every region (north, south, east, west and
central) has some provinces where fewer than fifty percent of
Afghan Uniform Police (AUP) surveyed held ID cards, and there
was no penetration of the ID-card program evidenced in
Nangarhar and Wardak. Notably, within a single area, units
sometimes varied widely in ID-card implementation. For
example, among ABP in the western region, border police at
the Herat Airport had 100-percent compliance, while the Sixth
Brigade Headquarters in the same region had only 18-percent
compliance.

--------------------------------
Context: Other Reported Numbers
--------------------------------

9. (SBU) Afghan police watchers will note that the survey
does not include ANAP or the MOI headquarters in Kabul.
While the combined MOI payroll for AUP, ABP and ANCOP plus
district police officials is 59,876, the UNDP-administered
Law and Order Trust Fund for Afghanistan (LOTFA) reported
paying 72,470 police between April 2006 and March 2007;
however, the latter figure includes some 11,074 ANAP (CSTC-A
figure as of September 15). As an additional point of
comparison, DynCorp has trained some 73,262 individuals,
excluding ANAP and corrected for individuals taking multiple
courses. Many of those trained are believed to have gone
AWOL, and a substantial number have been killed or gone
missing in action. (Note: Thirty to fifty ANP per week are
reported KIA. End note.)


KABUL 00003310 003 OF 003


---------------------------------------
Well-Received by International Partners
---------------------------------------

10. (SBU) CSTC-A Commander Major General Robert Cone briefed
the international community on September 23 on the results of
the survey. While all acknowledged the limits of the
methodology, there was general agreement that the survey
represents the first solid data on police presence in the
field and that the 80 percent show rate for AUP was much
better than many expected based on past anecdotal
information. IC participants included UNAMA, the EU, EUPOL,
and representatives from the UK, Australian, Dutch, German,
New Zealand, Italian and Canadian Embassies. Questions
focused on data that this survey was not designed to collect,
in particular that would permit conclusions to be drawn
regarding the effectiveness of ANP performance. The UNAMA
representative expressed interest in working with CSTC-A on
subsequent surveys. The EU Mission DCM welcomed the survey
and noted that, despite the methodological limitations, the
results should reassure donors that MOI financial controls
are effective.

-------
Comment
-------

11. (SBU) While conditions in Afghanistan prevented a
complete survey, this effort represents a significant
contribution to USG, IC and IROA understanding of policing
realities. It was very well received by the international
community and establishes a new basis for dialogue about
police assistance. Follow-on surveys, planned at a rate of
ten to fifteen percent of the 345 districts per month,
ensures the continuing utility of these data as a means of
gauging MOI progress on reform and of assessing the
effectiveness of police training and mentoring programs.
End comment.
WOOD

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