The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee met today for a hearing on Afghan National Security Forces and Security Lead Transition: The Assessment Process, Metrics, and Efforts to Build Capability. Chairman Robert Wittman made the following statement available as prepared for delivery:
"Today the Oversight and Investigations subcommittee convenes the fourth in our series of hearings related to the Afghan National Security Forces.
Members have just received a closed, classified briefing from senior Department of Defense officials on the metrics used to assess the readiness of Afghan forces and current capability ratings.
Now, the subcommittee holds an open hearing on this topic.
We have assembled a panel of specialists to provide testimony about the sufficiency and reliability of the metrics used by the U.S. to track the progress of the development of the Afghan National Security Forces. We will also receive testimony about the effectiveness of the U.S. training effort, and the challenges our troops face in readying the Afghan army and police to assume the lead for security by 2014.
The development of self-sufficient Afghan forces capable of providing internal and external security is a key goal of the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan.
In public settings before this subcommittee and elsewhere, Department of Defense officials have said that the capability of the Afghan forces will inform decisions about the pace of the continued drawdown of U.S. troops and the size of an enduring U.S. presence.
Our panel today includes:
-Dr. Anthony Cordesman, the Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
-Dr. Joseph Felter, a retired U.S. Army colonel and Senior Research Scholar at the Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University
-Ambassador (ret.) Kenneth Moorefield, the Deputy Inspector General for Special Plans & Operations at the Department of Defense Office of the Inspector General
-Mr. Charles M. Johnson, Jr., a Director of International Affairs and Trade at the United States Government Accountability Office. Mr. Johnson will be assisted in answering questions by his colleague Ms. Sharon Pickup, also a Director at GAO.