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Developing effective Afghan National Security Forces is crucial to lasting stability in Afghanistan. So far, good progress has been made, with the Afghan Minister for Defence recently stating that there are now 34,000 officers, NCOs and soldiers in the Afghan National Army (ANA). The ANA is ethnically balanced and well trained, factors that contribute to the high regard it is held in by the population. Those troops deployed in Helmand have fought bravely and effectively alongside our own, enduring considerable sacrifice in pursuit of their own country’s security. ANA leadership and capabilities are developing well but it will take time and continued support before they are ready to take on this task independently.