ISAF Officials: Reports on Partnering Change ‘Not Accurate’
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 18, 2012 Recent media coverage regarding a change in the International Security Assistance Force model for assisting Afghanistan’s security forces “is not accurate,” ISAF officials said today in a statement released from the command’s headquarters in the Afghan capital of Kabul.
Officials said ISAF “remains absolutely committed” to partnering with, training, advising and assisting Afghanistan’s national security forces.
“The ISAF [security force assistance] model is focused at the battalion level and above, with exceptions approved by senior commanders,” the statement said, adding that partnering occurs at all levels, from platoon to corps.
“This has not changed,” the statement said.
In response to elevated threat levels resulting from the “Innocence of Muslims” YouTube video, “ISAF has taken some prudent, but temporary, measures to reduce our profile and vulnerability to civil disturbances or insider attacks,” the statement said.
This means that in some local instances, operational tempo has been reduced, or force protection has been increased, officials explained.
“These actions balance the tension of the recent video with force protection, while maintaining the momentum of the campaign,” the statement said. “We've done this before in other high-tension periods, and it's worked well. Under this guidance, and as conditions change, we will continue to adapt the force posture and force protection.”
The security force assistance model is integral to the success of Afghanistan’s national security forces, and ISAF will return to normal operations as soon as conditions warrant, the statement said.