This paper outlines the critical challenges in regards to the evolution of the Afghan National Police (or ANP). Rather than lessons learned per se, the paper argues that the lessons to be learned from the Afghan experience are that the militarisation or securitisation of nascent civilian capabilities is problematic. For a model of civilian policing to be effective, it has to be one that the community desires and/or accepts. For Afghanistan, this also requires a true unity of effort on the part of the international community in supporting an Afghan initiated civilian policing model, even if aspects of the model are not regarded as ideal to the Western eye.
Let us start with the proposition that police are the face of peace.