Afghan Biographies

Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA TF)

Name Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA TF)
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Background
History and Biodata

Afghan National Army Territorial Force (ANA TF) (quwat-ha-ye manteqawi urdu-e milli-ye afghanistan, also referred to in Persian as the ‘territorial army’ or urdu-e manteqawi) is a new local defence force currently being mobilised under the Ministry of Defence as part of the Afghan National Army (ANA). Each company (tolai) draws soldiers from a particular district but is led by officers from outside that district who are already serving in the regular ANA or who are in the ANA reserves. The aim is for the Territorial Force to eventually be 36,000 strong.

The ANA TF was authorised by presidential decree in February 2018. The initial aim was for a pilot phase in eight to ten locations and, after evaluation, for it to roll out to a phase 1 with as many as 48 districts (discussed below) and then a phase 2. President Ghani announced the establishment of the Territorial Force on 5 March 2018, recruitment was reported to have begun on 15 April 2018 and the training of the first 370 “cadets” at the Kabul Military Training Centre reported on 11 June 2018.

At first blush, the ANA TF and ALP models seem quite similar. Both are designed to mobilise men from a local community (neither recruit women, unlike the regular ANA and ANP) and develop them into a defensive, hold force. They are supposed to be auxiliary or adjunct forces only, with limited weaponry and a limited geographical remit permitting them to operate within their own communities. However, the ALP operates at village level, the ANA TF at district level; Territorial Force soldiers can be deployed anywhere within their district, making the force, it is hoped, less prone to very local capture.

One major change is that the ANA TF falls under Afghan National Army command rather than, as the ALP does, the Afghan National Police. The ANA has generally had far better command and control than the ANP with a more advanced (and functional) disciplinary and military
justice system, to which the ANA TF would be fully subject. The Ministry of Defense also has a better accountability record with donors than the Ministry of Interior and has been much better able to escape factional and criminal interests.


Last Modified 2019-01-17
Established 2019-01-17