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Acknowledging Limits

Police Advisors and Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

William Rosenau


This book addresses this gap by examining operations involving American and British police advisors in Afghanistan during the 2007–9 period. The experiences of these mentors highlight the enduring challenges of building local police and paramilitary forces in dynamic and unstable environments. The themes highlighted in this study are likely to resonate in the years ahead as Afghans assume greater responsibility for their own security.

William Rosenau is a senior analyst in the Stability and Development Program, CNA Strategic Studies, Alexandria, VA, and an adjunct professor in the Security Studies Program, Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. His previous publications include US Internal Security Assistance to South Vietnam: Insurgency, Subversion and Public Order (Routledge, 2005); Subversion and Insurgency (RAND, 2007); and Corporations and Counterinsurgency (RAND, 2009).


Vignette 1: Police Mentoring Team, Qalat District, 2008
Vignette 2: Police Training Mission, Khost-Gardez Pass, 2007–2008
Vignette 3: British Police Mentors, Helmand Province, 2008–2009
Vignette 4: Afghan National Civil Order Police Advisor, 2007–2008
Vignette 5: Police Mentoring, Ghazni and Paktika Provinces, 2008–2009
Vignette 6: U.S. Marine Corps Police Mentoring Team Commander, Garmsir District, 2009
Vignette 7: British Police Mentor, Helmand Province, 2009
Vignette 8: Regional Police Mentoring Team Commander, Northern Afghanistan, 2007–2008
Vignette 9: U.S. Marine Corps Police Mentoring Team Commander, Nawa-I-Barakzayi District, 2009
Vignette 10: U.S. Marine Corps Police Mentor, Now Zad District, 2009


6 x 9 paperback
100 pages
PDF download

Marine Corps University