French-US involvement in Kapisa Province

The Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) of the Kapisa province was being led by France. Initially France was assigned to look after the International Security Assistance Forces (ISAF) mission in Kabul. Soon after that, their ambit expanded and in 2008 France was solely responsible for Kapisa and a district of neighbouring Kabul province. The French military in Afghanistan had to fight and struggle hard, due to which they did lost lot of their soldiers. Seeing this, French president Francois Hollande announced that France will be withdrawing their troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012.

This news sparkled speculations. France was complementing US forces through PRT and the Human Terrain Team. PRT team was conducting stability operation in the province and at district level. Their main focus was on building roads, bridges, construction of schools and healthcare centres. They were also looking at the possibilities on how to enhance the power capabilities by using the existing infrastructure. The team was in a strong liaison with the key leaders to facilitate development.

The French mission faced serious challenges as they were not developing solid plans for consolidating their victories. French troops were going in the area for chasing militants but they were unable to build successes and that’s why major part of the province remained a battlefield between the French and insurgents.

In early 2009 French troops did make an achievement by retaking the Alasay District from  theTaliban. The district was a strategic goldmine as it was a primary access to the neighbouring country Pakistan, secondly it also provided an easy access to Kabul. The locals welcomed French troops and things seemed to be looking up. Same like before the troops didn’t stay over there and get themselves engaged in other tasks like protecting the highway running from north to south of the province. Due to this by the end of 2009, the Taliban regained the possession of the district and the security condition of the province got worse and the same tug-of-war started all over again.

Despite of all their efforts the French military is now being frustrated as they were unable to make any progress in the mission. This increased the tension among the French and Afghanis as the ISAF mission was to build support for the Afghan provincial government. The provincial governor Ghulam Qawis Abubaker was considered as a corrupt governor, and was accused by contractors and district officials. Many believe that he was the reason of instability in the Kapsia province as he was funding the insurgents. That’s why in 2010 he was removed from his position and was charged by ISAF for corruption.

As announced by the French president, in July 2012 France started to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan and the last convey took off by the end of 2012. France was the 5th largest contributor to the NATO-ISAF collation and they deployed 3,300 soldiers in Afghanistan. After this evacuation the issue of safety was raised in the province as the US didn’t have any troops to fill up this gap which is why Afghan police were assigned to look after all the security arrangements in the province.

On July 04, 2012 the transition ceremony was held under which the responsibilities of the province were shifted from ISAF to Afghan authorities.

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