Afghan Biographies

Afghan National Police (ANP)

Name Afghan National Police (ANP)
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Branches AUP, ABP, ANCOP, GDPSU, ALP, Traffic Police and mor
History and Biodata

Under the Minister of Interior's direction, the Deputy Minister of Security is responsible for management of all branches of the police (as of 20160906):

    Uniform Police
    Border Police
    Civil Order Police
    Police Special Units
    Local Police
    Traffic Police
    Natural Disasters and Fire Fighting
    Criminal Investigation
    Counter Terrorism
    Major Crimes Task Force

Uniformed Police
The Afghan Uniformed Police (AUP) is the largest component of the Afghan national police and is responsible for general policing duties under the Police Law. Approximate 73 percent of the country’s 149,000 national police last year were uniformed police. This number, 108,391, comprises 59,392 patrol-level police, 27,452 sergeants, and 21,547 officers.

The AUP is assigned mainly to police stations and checkpoints throughout Afghanistan and is frequently the first-response service when an incident occurs. It is also responsible for running static and mobile checkpoints throughout the country used to maintain security. There is a police headquarters in each of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, and a police station in each of the country’s 364 districts.

Border Police
In the Four Year Security Plan, government has shifted the police mission from fighting to maintaining security.
As part of the new plan, the border and public protection police forces will join the army which means the army has to handle the war alone in the country.(20170814)

Afghanistan’s Border Police (ABP) control entry of people into the country, and prevent hostile incursions. ABP responsibilities include passport and document control at airports and border crossing points and preventing smuggling of weapons, drugs, cultural property, and people (human trafficking). In recent years the ABP have been fighting terrorism in Afghanistan’s border regions and working to prevent insurgents from entering the country.

Afghanistan shares borders with six neighboring countries, requiring the ABP to safeguard the country’s 5,529 kilometer-long border through stations in 86 districts in 19 provinces.
The distance in kilometers of Afghanistan’s shared borders with neighboring countries:

    Republic of China (76) km
    Islamic Republic of Pakistan Durand line (2430) km
    Islamic Republic of Iran (936) km
    Republic of Turkmenistan (744) km
    Republic of Uzbekistan (137) km
    Republic of Tajikistan (1,206) km

The ABP work in coordination with bordering countries in accordance with international law to protect Afghanistan through in six border zones, 15 border crossing points, and five international airports and customs units. They also control and direct immigration crossings. During the year March 2013- March 2014 (1392) the ABP captured an estimated 278 kg heroin, 1,304 kg opium, 3600 kg marijuana, 35 kg morphine, 3040 lt aqua fortis, and 1,029 kg ammonium nitrate.

Civil Order Police
The Afghan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP) has a total strength of approximately 15,000 police members organized in seven brigades and 33 battalions across the country. It is a mobile force that can be deployed quickly to any region of the country. The ANCOP are dispatched regularly throughout the country as needed to maintain civil order, and provide crucial support to other police units’ counter-insurgency and counter-narcotics efforts.

Police Special Units
The General Directorate of Police Special Units (GDPSU) combats insurgency, illegal narcotics and organized crime. GDPSU are highly trained police commando forces that perform counter-insurgency strikes against insurgents in high-risk hostile environments. These units work to identify, understand and influence areas of instability throughout the country and to isolate insurgency.

The GDPSU serve as one of the MoIA’s professional counter-terrorism forces. The GDPSU compromises five combat units that conduct counter-terrorism operations at all levels as well as conduct anti-crime activity. The GDPSU Crisis Response Unit (CRU) is primarily responsible for preventing high-profile terrorist attacks on the nation’s capital. Notably, attacks on Kabul’s Intercontinental Hotel in 2011, and on the Parliament and two residential locations in 2012 were repelled by the CRU with a minimal casualties incurred.

The GDPSU utilizes advanced techniques and technologies in coordination with NATO forces. These include use of human intelligence, and advanced investigation and surveillance to locate terrorist groups and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and to counter the networks that make and plant these IEDs. The GDPSU currently maintains Quick Reaction Forces (QRF) teams in several key provinces. The GDPSU plans to train more QRF teams and expand QRF presence to more provinces throughout the country next year.

Afghan Local Police
The Afghan Local Police (ALP) is a temporary security force formed to protect those villages and districts most vulnerable to insurgent attacks. Service members of the ALP are recruited from the area they protect, providing a layer of security from those who live in the area and are familiar with it. Recruits to the ALP are selected and vetted by local elders to ensure their trustworthiness. The Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) also assists in mobilizing qualified people to join the ALP. Training is provided by the Afghan National Army and international military forces, which also support the ALP in the field. In some localities, local Afghan judges and prosecutors have helped train the ALP in the principles of the Afghan Constitution and practices under the rule of law.

The legal powers of the ALP are relatively limited when compared to other organizations within the MoIA. The ALP does not have the authority to arrest people, but can detain individuals and turn them over to the Afghan National Police (ANP) or the Afghan National Army (ANA). The ALP is a "self-defense force" and as such cannot conduct offensive operations unless they are local in nature and in direct response to a local threat to the small geographical area they are charged with protecting. Typically, the ALP do not operate outside of their communities or districts. The commanders of the ALP units report to the District Chiefs of Police.

The activities of the Afghan Local Police include:

    Protecting the people against the enemies of Afghanistan;
    Protecting local government institutions and operations;
    Protecting critical infrastructure;
    Facilitating reconstruction and development;
    Disrupting insurgent attacks and activities;
    Denying insurgents safe havens, and;
    Assisting in security maintenance.


The Afghan Local Police (ALP), established in 2010, currently has 18,000 personnel (2) and is spread across 31 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. This force grew out of US Special Operations Forces’ projects to mobilise village-based forces against the insurgency from 2009 onwards. The ALP got grudging permission in 2010 from then President Karzai to become a national force within the Ministry of Interior and under Afghan National Police (ANP) command. It is funded solely by the United States – other international donors did not want to fund a ‘militia programme’ – and the Afghan government. It is due to see American funding dry up on 30 September 2020.(2020701)

Traffic Police
The General Directorate of Traffic works to ensure a safe, smooth flow of vehicles in Afghanistan’s cities and on its highways, as well as to manage traffic in accordance with the country’s laws and regulations. Traffic Police ensure compliance with the rules of the road and ensure travel permits, driving licenses and other documents are valid.

Natural Disasters and Firefighting
The General Directorate of Natural Disasters and Firefighting has the responsibility for: preventing and fighting fires around the country; responding to fire emergencies; drawing plans for and developing strategies to prevent fires; ensuring firefighting tools are available in government and non-government buildings; performing foundational, technical and operative surveys; and taking technical care of all buildings and establishments in case of such natural disasters as earthquakes, avalanches, floods, airplane crashes, and traffic incidents.

In the past 12 years a great number of vehicles and other firefighting equipment have been made operational. Dilapidated facilities and buildings were reconstructed and refurbished, and the administration itself was upgraded from the Directory of Firefighting to the General Directory for Natural Disasters and Firefighting. This General Directory has a branch in each province of the country. Forty-six firefighting teams are active in Afghanistan’s 34 provinces. Collectively they have 1,500 employees. Each team has at least two modern firefighting vehicles and trained operators.

Criminal Investigations
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) is responsible for the discovery and prevention of crime, and cooperates with the Attorney General’s Office in the investigation of crime. The specialized duties of the CID begin when a crime has been committed, or the police have been notified. CID staff collect information necessary for investigation and prosecution, and for the arrest of suspects.

Other duties of the Department include: analyzing the security and criminal state of the country, examining crime trends, and assessing technical and tactical changes in criminal behavior. The CID focuses on organized crime and other serious criminal activity such as human trafficking, sexual assault, abduction, murder, major financial crimes, corruption, and terrorism.

Counter Terrorism
The Counterterrorism General Directorate is responsible for detection, prevention, avoidance of, and combat against terrorist activities throughout the country. The MoIA has identified 12 high-risk provinces in Afghanistan: Farah, Helmand, Kandahar, Zabul, Uruzgan, Paktika, Paktia, Ghazni, Maidan Wardak, Kunar, Nuristan and Khost. Six provinces are identified as mid-risk: Kapisa, Laghman, Faryab, Kunduz, Logar and Badghis. And six are considered low risk: Parwan, Nangarhar, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Herat and Nimroz. The security situation is regarded as normal in Kabul, Bamyan, Panjshir, Daikundi, Balkh, Jowzjan, Sar-e-Pul, Samangan, Ghor and Takhar, although the latter are carefully monitored for and protected from insurgent activity as well.

The Counterterrorism General Directorate has worked over the past several years to establish and strengthen operational networks to detect and combat insurgent activity. Last year, working with other Afghan detective and security agencies, the Directorate followed up on12,925 pieces of political and criminal intelligence that resulted in successful prevention of 2,513 separate incidents.

Major Crimes Task Force
The Major Crimes Task Force coordinates with Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security, and the country’s judicial organizations.

The main functions of the Major Crimes Task Force are:
    Identifying and arresting criminal networks;
    Assisting in prosecuting corruption;
    Detecting, identifying, and arresting kidnappers and kidnapping network, and;
    Collecting and authenticating crime evidence and documents for submission to the country’s justice and judicial organizations in order to develop criminal cases.

Last Modified 2020-07-01
Established 2016-09-06