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The police mission in Afghanistan on the eve of a redeployment

(BRUSSELS2) The European Union police mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL Afghanistan) is preparing for a redeployment that resembles a shrinkage. Due to the withdrawal of coalition forces, and the elimination of certain PRTs from now until 2014, certain training points could be abandoned, particularly in the south of the country. This is at least one of the first recommendations of the strategic review currently underway at European level.

Let us remember that the European Union police mission does not really aim to train field police officers or maintain order but rather favors the mission of maintaining the rule of law, investigation and judicial police, in particular. Kabul will therefore remain the central point for training, with different cities (Mazar, Kunduz, etc.) which will obey more the desire of certain countries to stay, or not to stay, than to real strategic planning.

Certainly the European mission is less susceptible to “green on blue” attacks. “ A civilian mission is probably less exposed because these methods are less hierarchical » explains H. Haber, the commander of the European Union's civilian peacekeeping missions (CPCC). Clear " If I can express like that. There is less risk of breaking certain norms or hurting certain sensibilities. »  But, on the ground, the “Europeans” are not in a position to protect themselves. They inherently rely on NATO forces for this. And the situation on site therefore imposes decisions that have little to do with the objective of the mission and more to do with reality.

In fact, we can wonder how Member States will be able to maintain a mission beyond 2014 (*), a mission which has always had difficulty finding its staff. It has always remained below the budgeted numbers. And still today we are at around 350 people for the 400 people planned.

(*) The 27 agreed, a year ago, on the extension of the mission, after 2014, which set a message that was more political than operational.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).