For much of Australia’s time in Afghanistan, Australian troops devoted their time to training, advising and mentoring Afghan soldiers and that appears to be paying off.
Afghans are increasingly confident in the ability of the Afghan National Army, with 57 per cent saying it will help improve security and 63 per cent believing it’s honest and fair.
A survey by international think tank the Asia Foundation found 86.5 per cent of respondents expressed confidence in the ANA and 73.2 per cent in the Afghan National Police.
But more than half (55.7 per cent) think Afghan security forces will still need foreign support to do their job properly.
That’s most pronounced in southern provinces where insurgents have been most active including Oruzgan, where Australian troops operated until the end of last year.
About 400 troops remain in Afghanistan in a variety of advisory and mentoring roles in Kabul and Kandahar.
The poll interviewed more than 9000 Afghans, half men and half women, from the country’s 34 provinces after the June presidential run-off vote.
This national attitude survey has been conducted every year since 2004.
Despite the ongoing insurgency, Afghans are optimistic about the future with more than 75 per cent saying the government is doing a good job.
Thirty-seven per cent say unemployment and the poor economy is the nation’s biggest problem, followed by insecurity (34 per cent) and corruption (28 per cent).
At the local level, unemployment is seen as the biggest problem (33 per cent), followed by electricity (23 per cent), roads (18 per cent) and drinking water (16 per cent.