Training Police in Afghanistan

Dr. Catherine Norman from the US Center for Naval Analysis released her latest research from Helmand Province in Afghanistan. Entitled “What Do Afghans Want from the Police?,” the research focused on public perceptions and desired end-state for the development of the Afghan National Police.

She found some very interesting opinions from residents of Helmand Province that will impact the transition to Afghan control and the training countries such as ours provide to the Afghan police.



  • The police should be professional – not abusive, undisciplined or (too) corrupt.
  • Police should provide security.
  • Police should have a limited role in criminal investigations.
  • Police should respond to the public’s calls for assistance.
  • Locally recruited police can be a solution or a problem.

”Residents of Helmand find it difficult to imagine,” she concludes, “ a police force as found in Western countries because Afghanistan has never had community police. Although Westerners consider it self-evident that police should be professional, provide security, assist with law enforcement, and respond to the public’s calls for assistance, the view from Helmand is more nuanced. It does not appear that residents of Helmand want the type of police force that is familiar to small-town Americans.”

Follow this link to download Dr. Norman’s entire report.